Normally I don’t rant, or express my views on products unless I love them, but in this case I feel compelled to share my experience as a warning to other gardeners. I do much of my gardening on a stool, preferably one that rolls. I’ve had one for nearly 20 years, and used it hard so when it began to fall apart, I looked for an identical one. Unfortunately, they are no longer made. I can’t imagine why because it was a great product. So began the search for a replacement, one that fit the correct height for a comfortable reach to weed and plant, that rolled, and is light enough that I can carry it with one hand.
The product that fit my criteria best was the Suncast rolling garden stool, around $40 depending upon the site, so it was ordered and arrived quickly. It was obviously not as sturdy a plastic as my original stool, and slightly larger. The “removable kneeling pad” that doubled as the seat cushion was annoying because it fell off whenever I picked the stool up. And there was no good hand-grip spot for picking it up easily. It had a “dog leash” type pull that was way more trouble, because it got caught underneath, and I had to reach all the way to the ground to pick it up, so to me it was useless. The wheels looked flimsy compared to my old stool, and I doubted they would last the entire season, let alone several years. But, I was desperate for a stool, and for $40 I expected it to last lots longer than it did, which was 3 HOURS!!!
Now, I’m not exactly dainty, but I’m only a size 10, a bit less than average so weight should not have been a problem. I was using the stool on level ground and simply deadheading violas along the potager paths. Imagine my surprise when my seat began to “slope!” In only 3 hours of use, a crack developed and the stool began to collapse to the point that the wheel below the crack could no longer turn. (You can’t see the collapse onto the wheel unless I’m sitting on it, but I’m not limber enough to sit on it and take a photo at the same time, so just trust me, it collapsed!) So much for a rolling stool! And trying to sit as the slope became more acute began to hurt my old back.
So, as you are selecting holiday gifts for fellow gardeners or perhaps yourself, do avoid the Suncast “rolling” garden stool. Mine is probably going to become a planter…it already has the drainage hole!!!