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Publication: Garden Guides
Wind Chimes Reduce Stress

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                   GardenGuides Newsletter 
                      December 12, 2006

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Good afternoon!

Wind chimes provide a peaceful, calm atmosphere to your out-
door rooms - guaranteed to reduce your stress level. However, 
beware of decorative chimes that are made from things like 
shells, beads or solid pieces of metal, they look attractive, 
but don't produce an enjoyable sound. Some of the best wind 
chimes to listen to are those made from hollow tubes of metal,  
usually copper or aluminum. These look lovely but they also 
produce a rich, sonorous tone.  

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Gardening is tough on hands: Protect them with Gloves!

It is that time of year when gardeners face the inevitable; 
the season is closing down and it’s time to clean and prep 
those tools for a winter rest. It is also the time when we 
begin to turn our thoughts to procuring gifts for friends and 
family for the holidays. This raises two intriguing questions. 
First, what is Scott rambling on about now? Secondly, how can 
he possibly link these two incongruous points?

I have many favorite tools in the garden, but the most readily 
available, most often used tools in my garden are… my hands. 
Digging, dividing, weeding, spreading mulch; sure there are 
actual tools that are designed to do these jobs, but no matter 
how many tools I have I often end up just doing these jobs, 
not just by hand, but with hands. So while we are thinking of 
protecting our tools (and with an eye to finding a great gift 
for our gardening buddies), let’s review garden gloves and 
find the right gloves for you (or Mom, or Dad, or Sis…)

First of all they need to protect our hands. But from what? 
As always, the right tool for the job makes the job easier and 
more pleasant, so lets look at different jobs and the right 
glove for each.

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Choosing from a variety of Gloves

For general garden use there are a LOT of different types of 
gloves. Dad always bought us the cotton work gloves; cheap, 
abundant, but they wear quickly and weigh a TON when wet, and 
holding all that water, chill your hands fast in inclement 
weather. And NO protection against thorns and prickers. An 
option, but not a good one. There are the composites, leather 
and cotton together; wear is better but the wet part is still 
an issue and only minimally better thorn protection. All 
leather gloves are another step up, but only a little. Still 
get wet, but they wear better and offer protection from thorns…

The gloves I see on the market that I think are great are 
these new spandex/ lycra composites. As a chunky handed male, 
most gloves fit me pretty well, but ladies have had a hard 
time finding gloves that fit. Companies like Foxgloves have 
come up with one-size-fits-all, stylish, colorful gloves that 
fit PERFECTLY, have no absorption at all (wash your hands with 
these still on!), wick moisture away, and because of the hard 
wearing nylon on palms and fingers, last with hard use for at 
least the season (building a stone wall last winter I went 
through three pairs of leather gloves in a month). These are 
great gloves for the ladies, but a little girlish for most 
guys. Fellas, if you want the same features in a more masculine 
glove, try Bionic gloves. They’ll look familiar if you’ve ever 
watched sports, as this is the same company that supplies both 
the MLB and NFL (they make gloves for EVERYTHING). Pretty 
tough and very convenient…

If wetness is the key factor of concern (and in the winter and 
early spring they sure are) rubber coated gloves are a sure 
fire way to keep body, mind and hand comfortable. Mudgloves 
are leading the pack here. They make a heavily coated glove 
that sheds water like the proverbial duck’s back; lots of color 
choice again, and they won’t break the bank. Keeping hands dry 
while mixing chemicals is a whole different game and requires 
a nitrile glove (chemically as well as water impervious); while 
Mudgloves does make one, I think this job is best handled in a 
disposable manner with a box of nitrile disposable gloves. 
A specialist glove for a specialist job…

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Gloves for gardening with roses

Speaking of which, when handling roses or other thorny 
customers, a gauntlet makes more sense than regular garden 
gloves. No, not from that suit of armor; there are rose 
gauntlets with protection to the elbow that will stop even 
the blood-thirstiest thorn from drinking freely. Sure it 
seems like a luxury now while you are sitting in front of the 
computer, but wait until you are up to your armpits in a 
beach rose or barberry and then tell me if it’s a luxury or 
a necessity. Yeah I thought so; order a pair for that rose 
gardener on your list while you are at it. They will be 
thanking you for years to come…

Gardening gloves for those who don't like gloves
Maybe you don’t like gloves (or that curmudgeon on the list 
is just too tough to wear ‘em). The answer there may be one 
of the new spray-on gloves; a silicon spray that seals those 
hands from the grime (and oils from things like poison ivy), 
making clean-up easy. Gloves for those that don’t like gloves.

So think about those hands as they are mousing and typing 
away; soon enough you will be calling on them to haul leaves 
from underneath shrubs, mix anti-dessicants and haul wood and 
shovel snow. So will most everyone on that Xmas list. Let’s 
all make sure we work protected out there; we want those 
fingers to bring you back here time and again, so get the 
gloves you need now. Your hands will thank you.


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