Spring brings a plethora of new products for gardeners to get excited about. Here are just a few that span the practical to the playful, for veteran gardeners and rookies alike.
Dahlia magic: Dahlias can color-bomb a garden like almost no other plants, and Longfield Gardens has developed a new one, Dahlia Dazzling Magic, that’s an attention-grabber. Each flower is unique. The blossoms are pale yellow with red centers, but the amount of red varies as it spreads across the petals. Dazzling Magic grows 3 feet tall, making it perfect for flower beds and borders. Priced at $9.95 for a three-bulb bag; visit the website nando.com/dahlias.
Screen shot: Want to add a real focal point to your yard or garden? Check out Natural Screens by Be Metal Be, laser-cut steel screens that come in six designs. They can be used as decorative fencing, wall art, a garden feature, a privacy screen, pool surround or a lattice replacement.
“You’re only limited by your imagination,” says Tony Perry, joint managing director of Be Metal Be, an Australian company. “You might stick it on a wall or maybe build a big feature pergola. It can be a fence, attached to railroad ties, a balustrade, make it part of a (decorative) light box. Multiple screens for outdoors.”
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The screens are approximately 6 feet by 3 feet and weigh 25 to 40 pounds, depending on the design. They come pre-rusted and sealed for all-weather use, and have pre-drilled holes to make joining or installation easy. $200 to $300, depending on the design; go to bemetalbe.com and amazon.com.
Garden anywhere: No yard? Not even a tiny patch of earth to plant a garden? Click and Grow products let you grow herbs, vegetables, fruits and flowers indoors in the smallest of spaces. The kits set up quickly, and all you have to add is water. We tried out two, the Smart Herb Garden and the Smartpot for strawberries. The kits seem foolproof, and we anticipate a feast in two to four months. Prices start at about $64. For more information or to buy the kits, go to clickandgrow.com.
Trusty trowel: There are a lot of digging implements out there, but Corona’s eGrip trowel stands out for its added features: a comfortable no-slip handle, a sharp edge to cut open bags of soil and heavy-duty blade with 1-inch depth markings, all helpful when planting. $7.98 at Lowe’s.
Raking in convenience: With a stainless steel head that’s only 8 inches wide, Lee Valley’s 59-inch-long rake makes it easy to work between plants where standard-width implements won’t fit. $41.50 from leevalley.com (type “narrow rake” in the search field).
Lawn surfing: Scotts has launched a free mobile My Lawn app to give users step-by-step guidance on how to care for their lawns. There’s a precipitation gauge, personalized recommendations on feeding and seeding, capability for a live chat with a Scotts representative, a mulch calculator, weed identifier and more. The My Lawn app is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Gnomes run amok: When chipmunks and squirrels are no longer afraid of rubber snakes, it’s time to invest $22.99 in a zombie garden gnome. They stand just over 11 inches tall and are made of terra cotta. Available from nando.com/gnome and amazon.com.
Eco-friendly planting: Made by Botanical Interests from 100 percent recycled material, Paperboard Pots offer an eco-friendly way to grow seedlings. They have a perforated bottom that can be removed to allow the entire plant to be placed in the ground. The product was a 2015 Direct Gardening Association Green Thumb Award winner. A package of six costs $2.99 at botanicalinterests.com.