Thursday, April 24, 2008


As a member of the Garden Writers Association, I am constantly receiving product samples or press releases about new products, and I encounter new – and not necessarily better – products at garden shows.

Two that came to my attention recently are a synthetic pine straw and a pine straw imitation, made of wood. Why in the world, especially with today’s emphasis on all things “green”, anyone would want to put plastic “pine straw” in their garden is a mystery to me. The other product, chopped ribbons of wood that have been colored and made to look like pine straw, does not appeal to me much either. What positive contribution does all this “processing” make to our environment that natural pine straw, abundantly available, does not make? Rather the opposite, it would seem to me.

Now let me tell you about two products I do like! A year ago, one of my children gave me a beautiful planter, with a center Cordyline, several geraniums and some other plants in it, two of which have weathered the Winter very nicely. The container had a coconut liner from AquaSav and I can tell you that it worked. The planter needed substantially less water than my clay pots, and somewhat less than my plastic pots. The other “product” I like is actually a collection of art – shirts, cushions, totes, aprons and other items from Joseph’s Colours. Not only are these gorgeous items, it also impressed me that their prices are not any higher than the ubiquitous mass-produced clothing and decorative pieces one encounters in many tourist gift shops.

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