Local News: Asheville and Hendersonville

Holiday Gifts for Gardeners

(almost as good as dirt!)


By Jeff Rugg- The growing season may be over for the gardener in your family, but the gift-giving season is just getting started. The gardener on your shopping list may tell you that he has all the gardening tools he needs, but I have a few here that he probably doesn’t have and would be glad to receive.

I like combining several small items into one larger present. For instance, a pair of garden gloves, some insect repellent and a bottle of hand soap or hand lotion in a wicker basket makes a great present.

Corona Tools has been making professional lawn and garden tools, such as pruners, saws, shovels and rakes, for almost 100 years. Its newest hand pruner is the FlexDIAL. It has an adjustable grip to accommodate for small and large hands. Another way to look at it is the blades can be adjusted to open only as wide as the size of the branches being pruned. Why do the repetitive squeezing of a wide-open pruner when cutting small twigs?

I thought this might be just a gimmick, but I have used this pruner for a while now and I like the ability to adjust the size. The handles are steel and covered with a soft gel plastic for a more comfortable grip. The blades are high-carbon steel with a nonstick coating, so they will stay sharp and are easy to clean of sticky sap. Corona Tools are available in most good garden centers.

I work outdoors all summer. Some of the time I am in the shade, but then I have to move into the sun. I never seem to have any sunscreen when I have to go to the sunny areas. I also don’t like having to apply the sunscreen, as it makes my hands sticky and I can’t seem to cover the back of my arms. I’ve found the solution in IceRays UV arm sleeves.

Cyclists and golfers have already discovered these lightweight sleeves. They have 50-plus UV protection, and as a bonus, they are made with a fabric that cools the skin. They come in a variety of colors, but I chose light grey to blend in with landscaping dirt. They are easy to wash, and they dry quickly.

They are easy to pack, so they are available when I need them. And they are new to the U.S., so if your local garden center doesn’t have them, your local golf club might. Find local dealers at icerayssunsleeves.com.
Is there anything more irritating than having your outdoor experience be interrupted by mosquitoes, flies or ticks?

A lot of people are concerned about the ingredients in insect repellents. The Paper Street Soap Co. has developed a new product that is entirely made from certified organic ingredients. A variety of oils, spices and herbs have been combined to create a repellent that is safe for children and dogs.

This product is very new and hard to find at local stores, but it is available on the company website, www.thepaperstreetsoap.co.

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