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Garden Gate’s favorite gardening products

By: Garden Gate staff
See what products our staff can’t live without in their own gardens and find a few new books, tools and gear to add to your own garden shed!

Garden-gate-staff-favorite-products-collapsible-garden-bin-pv: This compact and versitile Kangaroo Collapsible Garden Bag by Fiskars became a favorite for one of our staff members after ordering one to use in a photo shoot.

Gardening products we can’t live without

Over the years our team has had the opportunity to try out a variety of gardening products in their own gardens and for the magazine and we thought it was time we shared a few of our favorite, can’t-live-without gardening products including gear, tools, and books! Check them out below and maybe you will find a few new favorites as well.

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Garden Gate Staff’s favorite gardening tools

Stainless steel hose

I love the stainless steel hose — I don’t think I’ll ever buy another rubber hose. It coils and uncoils to use very easily, doesn’t kink up, and stays cooler when sitting in the sun so you don’t have to run a lot of water to cool it down. It is so lightweight to carry around and doesn’t crush plants as much as heavier hoses if you drag it over them. It does catch on pavement cracks now and then, and if you link too many together you can lose water pressure, but I still LOVE this hose.
- Jennifer Howell, Corporate Gardener & Contributing Editor


Expandable Garden Hose

I have a small patio space with a lot of containers and as soon as I tried this hose it became my favorite. The best part about this hose? It basically puts itself away when you are done - no coiling a giant hose every time you finish watering! When you turn off the valve and expel the water left in the hose, it just recoils itself into a small pile. I’ll never go back to a cumbersome rubber hose again.
- Katie Meyer, Senior Graphic Designer


Garden Hose Quick Connect Fittings

Brass hose connectors make adding a hose or switching between a sprinkler and a watering wand so easy. I keep a box of these in my shed and add them to every hose and watering tool I own.
- Kristin Beane Sullivan, Editor


Potwheelz - Plant and Pot Mover

Use your head, not your back. This moving dolly was designed specifically to move heavy containers, up to 400 pounds. We love this dolly and use it at our test garden regularly.
- Jennifer Howell, Corporate Gardener & Contributing Writer


garden-gate-staff-favorite-products-Miracle-Gro-Twelve

Miracle Grow Twelve Indoor Growing System

This indoor hydroponic grow system from Miracle-Gro has quickly become a favorite around our office. It is a great compact size, easy to use, and you can grow 4 different plants in the hydroponic unit. It even has its own app where you can adjust light settings and get notified when it is getting low on water. We have lettuces growing right now and when those are harvested we are going to swap in some herbs!
- Katie Meyer, Senior Graphic Designer


Telescopic Metal Rake

I have one of these metal rakes and have used it so much that it’s time for me to get a new one! I use it to reach into tight spaces and the tines are flexible enough to work well on gravel.
- Carrie Topp, Associate Art Director


Felco bypass pruners for smaller hands

Felco #6 pruners fit my small hands better than the average pruners. And they’re well made… I’ve had mine for 20 years, and one of those years they spent the winter outdoors in a perennial garden. Whoops! Still going strong.
- Kristin Beane Sullivan, Editor of Garden Gate


Corona folding pruning saw

This folding pruning saw is great for cutting smaller tree or shrub branches and folds away for safe storage. The blades are replaceable and come in three lengths — 7, 8 and 10 inches.
- Sherri Ribbey, Senior Editor


Soil knife

This is my go-to tool for almost everything I do. It’s just the right size for container gardens. Its sharp point makes it easy to dig a hole for a seedling or cut in a trench for a row of seeds. It has a notch that’ll cut twine, and in a pinch, I can cut off a stray branch or a perennial with the sharp, serrated edge.
- Kristin Beane Sullivan, Editor


Victorinox 52860 Floral Swiss Army Knife

This is a great all-purpose knife for the gardener. It is small and fits in your pocket, but the stainless steel blade is strong. The blade is just over 2 inches long and tucks into a cheerful assortment of colored nylon handles with standard all lining. Surprise! I like the green one the best.
- James A. Baggett, Senior Editor


BioBag Premium Compostable Lawn & Leaf Yard Waste Bags

Because they are made of plant starches from renewable crops, these yard waste bags can be readily composted along with organic waste in municipal composting facilities. They can also just turn into compost anywhere you want in the garden. They also make biodegradable food scrap bags and pet waste bags as well. These are great alternatives to using plastic.
- James A. Baggett, Senior Editor



Plant turner

What I like about this saucer is that it turns easily so you can rotate the plants so they don’t lean too much indoors. I’ve had a couple of them for 5+ years – they go indoors and out and still work great!
- Sherri Ribbey, Senior Editor


The Big EZ Heavy Duty Folding Tomato Cage & Plant Support

Love these heavy-duty tomato cages with five rings for support. Simply push the legs into the soil to firmly secure the cages. Best of all, after the tomato show is finished, all you have to do is fold them up and hang them on the garage wall.
- James A. Baggett, Senior Editor


Fiskars Kangaroo Collapsible Garden Bag

We had a reader write in who recommended using these handy collapsible gardening bags that she keeps stashed around her garden for weeding. I ended up ordering one for myself and I use it for any garden cleanup tasks I might have - It is also great for camping as a pop-up trash can! My favorite features are that it is compact and easy to clean out with a quick spray of the hose. There is also a model available with a hardshell bottom that I have had my eye on...
- Katie Meyer, Senior Graphic Designer


Our favorite gardening gear

Western-Chief-garden-clogs-2

Western Chief Step-In Shoes

Ever since I received my Western Chief step-in garden clogs, they have been my go-to for any task outside! Super easy to slip on and off and the waterproof exterior is a breeze to clean when they get dirty. Here I have on the “Gorgeous Garden” print, and others are available to suit your style.
- Katie Meyer, Senior Graphic Designer


Western Chief Women’s Garden Clog

Super easy to slip on and off and very comfy!
- Sherri Ribbey, Senior Editor


Muck Boot Women’s Muckster Mid Ankle Boot

I love a good multipurpose product. These boots can be tall (about mid-calf) or short. I fold them up when I’m working in inches of mud or puddles, and I fold them down when I’m doing a lot of kneeling or bending. They don’t rub or get in the way. I’ve even worn them through the winter in snow and ice — they’re warm. Plus, I’m a sucker for a good floral pattern, and there are a lot of colors and patterns to choose from!
- Chloe Deike, Assitant Editor


Gold Leaf Soft Touch Gloves for ladies

These are my favorite garden gloves right now. They’re easy to put on and take off and have just the right combination of leather and breathable fabric.
- Kristin Beane Sullivan, Garden Gate Editor


Our favorite garden photography gear & accessories


Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame Digital SLR Camera with EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens Kit

This is my go-to set up to photograph flowers and gardens. Superb image quality and the 24-105mm lens provides enough versatility to handle most situations. I never leave the office without it.
- Jack Coyier, Senior Photographer & Videographer


Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras

If you love close-ups, you need this lens! Flower details, butterfly close-ups and foliage texture are all possible with this lens.
- Jack Coyier, Senior Photographer & Videographer


Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L is III USM Lens

This telephoto is a must-have. The lens is great at isolating your subject and provides great background blur. Not only great in the garden but terrific for portraits!
- Jack Coyier, Senior Photographer & Videographer


A few of our favorite gardening books


American Horticultural Society Plant Propagation

This is a great reference book for anything related to plant propagation. If I can’t remember whether to start something from seed, divide or take cuttings I look it up here. In fact, I just consulted it to see what to do about the small offset that got knocked off of my pincushion cactus.
- Sherri Ribbey, Senior Editor


Butterfly Gardening: The North American Butterfly Association Guide

Written by the editor of The North American Butterfly Association’s Butterfly Gardener magazine, Jane Hurwitz, this book gives you everything you need to know about gardening for butterflies.
- Sherri Ribbey, Senior Editor


Fresh from the Garden: An Organic Guide to Growing Vegetables, Berries, and Herbs in Cold Climates

When you want to know more than the plant tag or seed packet has to tell you about growing your favorite edible plants, check out this book. Each profile tells you where to plant, the best growing conditions, harvesting tips, culinary uses and much more.
- Sherri Ribbey, Senior Editor


The Artist’s Garden: The secret spaces that inspired great art

Did you know some of the greatest painters in history were inspired by their gardens? The Artist’s Garden: How Gardens Inspired Our Greatest Painters by Jackie Bennett (White Lion) features some 20 gardens that have inspired and been home to some of the greatest painters who ever lived. Of course, there’s Claud Monet’s Giverny. But here is also Cezanne’s house in the south of France Frida Kahlo’s The Blue House and Celia Thaxter’s garden off the coast of Maine. This is a book about the real homes and gardens that inspired great artists…and many of these gardens can still be visited today.
- James A. Baggett, Senior Editor


Scentual Garden: Exploring the World of Botanical Fragrance

In The Scentual Garden (Abrams), Ken Druse turns his attention to the subject of fragrant plants. This is a beautiful book you’ll want to refer to again and again as fragrant flowers release their scent. Druse presents gardeners with a vast palette of plants to explore and provides examples of garden designs that offer harmonious scentual delights.
- James A. Baggett, Senior Editor


Nature into Art: The Gardens of Wave Hill

Wave Hill, a world-renowned public garden in the Bronx along the Hudson River overlooking the cliffs of the Palisades, is certainly worth a visit the next time you’re in New York City. It’s one of my favorite gardens, especially late in the season when crimson sumacs frame the view. If you can’t visit (and especially if you have), check out Tom Christopher’s Nature in Art: The Gardens of Wave Hill (Timber Press), a celebration of the unsurpassed beauty of this secret gem of a garden.
- James A. Baggett, Senior Editor

Published: Nov. 11, 2019
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