Saturday, October 29, 2011

Snow in October?!

Well, I never would’ve believed it without seeing it, but we’re in the process of getting snow in October. I personally don’t ever remember having snow this early in the year before. I heard on the news that the last time we had snow in October in this area was 1979. Ok, maybe I would’ve been old enough to remember that, but I don’t. :o)  Just when I thought this gardening year was crazy enough, this happens. It’s nuts! It’s been mostly raining so far, all morning long, but it has mixed to a wet snow now and then. We’re expecting 1-2 inches by the time it finishes in the overnight hours. We’ll see what happens. Here’s some rainy/light wet snow shots that I just took outside the back door this morning.

A bit of snow by a mum.
A few tenacious roses have been holding on as long as they can, but will the snow kill them? We shall see. You can do it roses! Hang in there!

Roses and a dusting of snow.
I must admit, there isn’t a whole lot of interesting things blooming in the garden right now anyway, other than the red Texas sage, a few roses, some mums and asters, and two pineapple sage plants. The pineapple sage is a welcome fall color. When I planted my first one, I didn’t realize it was a perennial. Then when I saw how glorious it was the following year, I planted another one or two. They are kinda freakin’ big now, actually. They are probably almost five feet tall. And yes, if you rub the leaves they smell like pineapple. Pretty cool. I assume you could use them in cooking, but I’ve never been sure what dish would benefit from the flavor of pineapple sage.

Red pineapple sage with a couple of roses to the left of it.
If I can get my camera to squeeze in a few pictures tomorrow, we’ll see how much snow is on the ground, if any. Unfortunately, my trusty Cannon Digital Rebel with 17-85 zoom lens that I love so much is experiencing difficulties. I’ve been working with Cannon’s customer support, but it seems like I may have to send it in for repair. It’s an elusive “Error 99.” I think it might be the lens and not the camera. Sigh... My blog may have to go without pictures for awhile. Or maybe with older pictures. At least it didn’t happen during the height of gardening season or while we were vacationing in Oregon. Always SOMETHING to be thankful for! It is getting close to that time of the year, after all. Am I thankful for snow in October? Well, not really.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Favorite Garden Tools: Bionic Garden Gloves

I have a few favorite garden tools that I can’t live without. This is my first post on one of those important tools. THE most important garden tool of all has to be a good pair of garden gloves. I’m not talking about those flimsy “women’s garden gloves” that are made out of thin fabric that you can get at any big box store. You call those garden gloves???? How dare you. Those gloves are for wimps who have enough money to hire their own gardener and only go out to cut some flowers to add to the centerpiece on their fancy dining room table. And don’t give me men’s gloves that are so bulky you can’t do anything with them because you can’t find your fingers. I’ve been through many, many, many different kinds of garden gloves through the years. From fabric with those textured fingers, to goatskin, to leather. And let me tell you, I wouldn’t spend my money on anything other than Bionic Garden Gloves.  After trying Bionic, there’s no going back. They can withstand pruning roses without poking through to your delicate skin, gripping a shovel as you dig out invasive roots without giving you blisters, and pulling at those tenacious weeds without losing your grip.

I’ll tell you why these are the best garden gloves ever. They were designed by an orthopedic hand surgeon with extra padding in targeted areas to reduce hand fatigue and blisters and provide better gripping ability. These supple leather gloves literally “fit like a glove,” fitting snug over the hand and fingers. No more gloves where my fingers don’t reach to the very ends. These fit perfectly (women’s size small for my tiny hands). There’s a stretchy fabric over the knuckles and finger joints to help provide flexibility. The “elite” style (as opposed to the “classic”) have extra tough material in the finger tips – essential for active weeders. Supposedly you can wash these cabretta leather gloves, but I’ve never tried that. Before trying the Bionic gloves I would go through at least two pairs of gloves a year. The Bionic gloves with the reinforced fingertips last me two to three years. That’s good for gardening gloves when you use them as often as I do. Really, it is — you can’t expect them to last forever.

I tend to order directly from, however, it looks like Amazon carries them now, too. They have changed the style over the years. The kind that I have now look more like the men’s style now. The new and improved gloves have a wrist closure now, which seems like it would be a good improvement. Unfortunately, the Elite style only come in WHITE with colored accents. WHITE gardening gloves?! Come on, guys.  The Classic come in brown, but they don’t have the reinforced finger tips. Let’s hope they realize that white is NOT the right color for gardening gloves.

Here’s my beat-up Bionic gloves that I will have to retire now. I think these are about two or two and a half years old. As you can see, even with the reinforced fingers, I managed to poke holes through them. But you won’t find better-fitting, more durable garden gloves than these. At least I haven’t.

My well-used Bionic gardening gloves.