I know it’s getting down to the wire, but if there are gardeners on your shopping list may I suggest two gifts that I adore, and have found extremely helpful to my aging muscles. The first has been a life-saver for my arthritic hands. The Corona Ratchet Cut Branch & Stem pruners are terrific. I have used them this entire season (note the muddy handles!) and they have made cutting a breeze. The ComfortGel handles are large, comfortable, and easy to grip. Despite heavy use on tough branches (I cut branches much larger than the recommended 3/4″….some were old, tough wood 2-3″ in diameter!) the pruners remained sharp. Unlike most other pruners I’ve tried (and over the 40 years I’ve gardened, believe me I’ve tested LOTS!) these did not break, bend, or frustrate me in any way. I used them to prune the entire front evergreen hedge, stem by stem, and found I could work much longer than in previous years, because my hands did not begin to hurt. They are my go-to tool, and I love them so much I’ll be looking for a larger size for even heavier work in the coming season, because with their ratchet-cutting ease, I know I will be able to handle it!
The second is a book I highly recommend for any gardener, because no doubt if you start practicing it’s strategies early on, you won’t have many of the problems it addresses as you age. Noted gardening author and speaker, Shawna Coronado explains her personal struggles with various health issues and how she overcame them through lifestyle changes that included gardening, a passion she was unwilling to give up despite her health. I read the entire book in one sitting, marking many suggestions (note the green post-it notes) that I need to incorporate into my own gardening style. Helpful suggestions on using the garden for improving diet , exercise, meditation, and more fill the pages in an easy-to-read fashion. The photographs will inspire anyone to fill a garden with healthful plants, and will encourage older gardeners that they can keep at it longer with less pain.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, wherever you are. May your stockings overflow with great garden gifts, and your heart and mind be filled with beautiful new memories.