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  Helpful Gardening
  • Tools, equipment, products that make gardening easier.
  • Favorite plants, flowers and seed products.

Designed to drain water within a day, rain gardens serve as mosquito death traps, since mosquito eggs need more than 48 hours to grow into larvae. Native plants are drought-resistant, accustomed to our area’s soils, and attract butterflies and birds. Visit 10,000 Rain Gardens.

Easy Old Fashioned Flowers

Bachelor Buttons (Centaurea cyanus)

Bachelor Buttons seed is easy to find in most garden center flower seed displays. Renee's Garden Seeds, has a brilliant blue cornflower named ‘Blue Boy’ that is a cottage garden standout. I had great success with ‘Blue Boy’ in my container gardens last year. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds,, has the rare heirloom ‘Black Boy’ bachelor button with lovely, nearly black flowers.

Hand In Glove
Hurt Less

I am always giving away my copy of 50 & Better, usually when a similar topic comes up in conversation. Last month Edie R. Lambert’s story about arthritis and the Arthritis Foundation got my attention because I had just received a pair of Bionic Gloves that had been granted the Ease-Of-Use Commendation by the Arthritis Foundation. The gloves are designed by an orthopedic hand surgeon, Dr. Jim Kleinert. I put the gloves on and went out do a few garden chores. The gloves felt so good on my hands, I wore them when I mopped and swept the kitchen floor later that day. And, Bionic Gloves make great golf gloves.

The gloves are pricey, but they do make my hands feel better while gripping pruners and holding watering cans. These gloves are just one more tool that will keep me gardening forever. Learn more at

The Garden Bench

Please Have A Seat

You can make a garden bench yourself or spend a fortune on an artfully designed concrete, teak or wrought iron bench. A really nice garden bench is something you can put on your wish list for a birthday or anniversary. My neighbors’ children went in together to purchase a garden bench for their parents’ anniversary. The bench has a little brass engraved tag commemorating their wedding date.

Regardless of how you come by the bench, get one. It can serve as a garden highlight or a simple oasis in the shade. Everyone needs a place in the shade to enjoy the fruits of their labor, listen to the birds, and enjoy a tall, cool drink. Consider an attractive, sturdy garden bench as your garden’s best perennial asset. Now is a good time to shop for one. Make sure the bench is stable and placed on solid, ground. Make benches and chairs a bit of peaceful and restful garden art.

A Cobra In The Garden

Cool Tool

I’ve found a tool that is close to being a universal garden tool. It’s blade is a steel fingernail™ that becomes an extension of your hand. The Cobra Head™ Precision Weeder and Cultivator scalps, edges, digs, furrows, plants, cultivates, and transplants easily. I think it is the best weeding tool I have used, especially around small plants in close spaces. Look for it on the web at I grab this tool when I have a few minutes to garden and don’t have time to load up the wheelbarrow for a big gardening project. The steel cobra head shape makes for precision weeding around shallow rooted plant, the herb garden and near miniature roses.

Fruit Fly solution

A non-lethal way to get rid of fruit flies is to put a half of a banana into a jar or glass, and cover with plastic and then poke little holes in the plastic. The fruit flies will fly in to get the banana, but won't be able to get out. When the fruitflies are all trapped, bury the banana in the compost pile.


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