Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

In the Garden:
Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
January, 2005
Regional Report

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New varieties of many sample plants, such as these mums, live happily in my Fibber McGee garden.

News You Can Use!

Working as the producer for Henry's Garden gives me the opportunity to work with and examine closely all sorts of exciting new products and plants that come on the market. For example, I'm on the mailing list for Terra Nova Nursery, and every spring I receive a box full of two dozen tiny plugs for my shady garden. I'm on my third season now, and almost all of the previous years' plants are thriving. I witness the occasional untimely demise, but overall, the tiny plants survive the shipping and transplanting process very well. Hostas, heucheras, and ferns arrive in their cozy FedEx box, happy to be set free into the open air.

New Gadgets and Gizmos
Often, when I arrive at my office, there is a large package waiting at my desk. Snail bait, fertilizers, tools, and outdoor lighting equipment have been delivered for our consideration. It's like Christmas every time I get a package from some eager public relations firm. Just last week I received a box full of new ant bait from Terro, Start Smart fertilizer from Whitney Farms, and package of French larkspur seeds from Renee's Garden. So far, of all the largess I have received, the Womanswork gloves are my favorite, although my mom loves the Bionic Garden Gloves from the Louisville Slugger Company. They are endorsed by the Arthritis Foundation of America, and she swears that they make her gardening chores much easier on her hands.

The SmartTrap is another interesting piece of garden technology; it uses pheromones to lure and trap insect pests. The only problem with the SmartTrap is that it took a doctorate to attach the darned thing onto the enclosed stake.

Another interesting product was the Sharper Blade, which is a plastic blade that replaces the string on weed eaters and the rotating blade on lawn mowers. The inventor was a guest on our show, and it turns out that his father was also an inventor who came up with Styrofoam packing peanuts.

The product we received the most feedback from was the new Yankee Flipper Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder. This ingenious device uses a swivel to fling hungry squirrels into the surrounding shrubbery when they try to steal a bite of birdseed. Birds can dine at leisure knowing that their seed is safe.

Clint's Dandy Digger is another useful tool, especially if your garden soil is hard clay. The Dandy Digger is used for pulling weeds, and it looks more like an instrument of torture than a hoe. Then there's a thing called the Holey Moley that has a hose attachment and uses water pressure to dig through even the hardest soil.

The hoe plow is another unusual tool that we came to know and love. Part hoe, part plow, this quality-crafted tool is perfect for the vegetable garden.

Garden show season is right around the corner, so I know there will be more interesting products arriving on my doorstep. I can't wait to try them!

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