Gadgets, Gizmos and New Gardening Goodies

Extend your reach, send deer scampering and rub your feet the right way with these gardener-friendly new products.

| April/May 2006

When I was young and just beginning to garden, the only tools I could find were a hoe, a shovel and a lot of elbow grease. Happily, times have changed and there are great garden gadgets and tools available for every garden need. Here are a few I’ve tried recently that I think will make your gardening easier, more convenient or just more fun.


You may know Fiskars as the scissors folks, for their line of craft and sewing scissors, but their garden tools are amazingly efficient and strong, too. I’ve been using the fine Fiskars Pruning Stik Tree Pruner for quite some time. It’s 62 inches long, very lightweight (only 31 ounces) and can cut limbs up to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. While it is lightweight, this nifty tool is strong, durable and just the right length to prune the vines overhead in my grape arbor or reach up to prune my apple tree in springtime.

When I make bentwood trellises, I use this tool to clip long, flexible saplings from the roadside and woods. I can stand at the edge of the road and reach five or six feet into the roadside brush without ever having to get in the weeds and ticks.

With its nonstick, coated blades and an easy-to-adjust rotating cutting head, this is one tool you don’t want to be without. Why a rotating head? When you are reaching into a leafy tree, you may need another angle. Simply flip a little lever, move the head into any position you want, lock it in place and go back to pruning. The Pruning Stik costs $65.99 and might be one of the best pruners you will ever own.

Another excellent tool, the Power-Lever 15-inch pruner looks like a skinny penguin with a small beak. In fact, it looked so odd that I resisted using it for several weeks after bringing it home. Not quite lopper and not fully a pruner, it didn’t look like I thought pruners should.

But when I finally tried the Power-Lever 15, I immediately saw the advantage of the small head and the long handles. You get power for cutting, with very little effort. Whether pruning herbs or shrubbery, this tool lets you reach into a thorny bush, like a holly or rose bush, and prune without damaging your hands. And they mean it about the power: You can cut any piece of wood without effort. The long handles are great for reaching into tough-to-prune places, but the strength you get when you cut is simply amazing. This is great for people who have little strength in their hands, for older adults and for people with physical disabilities. The Power-Lever 15 costs $65.99 and will last for years.

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