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Friday, November 11, 2005

AGN Holiday Gift Guide #3 - Potting Bench

I have wanted a nice potting bench like this for a long time. It provides such a nice place to work outdoors, even if you aren't potting plants. This one appears to be just the right height for me. I hate working on a surface that is too low. My back starts to ache from hunching over and that certainly reduces the fun that should be a big part of gardening.

See also:
#2 - Cedar Bird Feeder
#1 - Fiskers Pruners

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

AGN Holiday Gift Guide #2 - Lantern Feeder

The previous owners of our house left one of these (or one like it) in the garden 9 years ago. It has sense fallen apart, but I do remember how much I liked it hanging outside my office window. Seeing it again in a catalog reminded me how nice it was and I am thinking I should pick one up again. It fits in very well in my rustic garden, although anything that claims to dissuade squirrels will have a hard time proving it in my garden. I have a raucous grouping that seem to be able to get into anything and everything. They have become so accustomed to us, they will sit on a limb right off our shoulder as we go about our gardening business.

See also:

#1 - Fiskers Pruners

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

AGN Holiday Gift Guide #1 - Fiskers Pruners

This are my favorite pruners of any I have owned. They come especially handy during the end-of-year rose pruning. I tend to do all the roses in 1 or 2 days and my hand can get quite tired after 30-40 roses. The rotating handle on these pruners takes the strain off of your hand and gives you a gear-assisted boost to get through the more stubborn canes.

Link: Fiskars 79366935 PowerGear Pruner

Sunday, November 06, 2005

A lingering Fall...

I probably write about his every year, but there is something special about the Fall, even in here in "season-less" Southern California. Perhaps it is my Ohio upbringing, but I sense Fall by the smell. There is a dark, mustiness of decaying leaves and damp humus that triggers the sense memory in me. There are nights, when I walk outside, when my brain simply triggers the thought, "It's Fall." My choice in food turns to hearty, heavy and warm and I find myself slightly chilled even when the temperatures are only in the upper-50's.

There is something satisfying in the smell of wood smoke and the crunch of dry leaves beneath your feet. There are several apple growing areas near here and I am drawn to them for apple cider. The real stuff, not what you might find in the stores. In my mind, real apple cider should be cloudy and dark, with a tang that puckers your lips, but only a little. Something as different from apple juice as wine is from grape juice.

Unusually for Los Angeles, the Fall has lingered this year. I often joke that Fall normally lasts a week , and then we are in to the wet Winter season where all the leaves are knocked from the trees and things begin to look a little stark. Of course, the rain also leads to some of the most gorgeous views we get all year. This was especially striking when I was working early mornings in a high-rise in Century City. After doing the morning prep routines I would sit in the large conference room on the eastern side of the building and watch the sun come up, illuminating the snow on the San Gabriel Mountains through the newly-washed air. For now, though, I will enjoy our extended Fall and revel in the changing of the seasons.