Have older gardeners on your holiday gift list? Help them enjoy their hobby despite physical issues. Here are some gift ideas we found around town and from the staff of Harlow Gardens:
• Plants that grow slowly or have few pest and disease problems. They reduce maintenance requirements, says Bill C. Harlow, co-owner of Harlow Gardens, 5620 E. Pima St.
• Lightweight pots. Plastic is one option. Bamboo is another. Lowe's has polyresin pots that are molded to provide the look of clay, ceramic or concrete containers.
• Small, lightweight watering cans. Plenty of plastic options makes it easier to water potted plants.
• Plant stands or other elevated surfaces. "You don't have to stoop over so much or get on your knees," says Harlow. Wheeled stands or plant caddies make it easy to move pots around, adds the store's retail manager, Debbie Mounce.
• Protective long gloves. Rose gloves ($40 at Harlow) and other gauntlet gloves ($8-$40) at Rillito Nursery & Garden Center, 6303 N. La Cholla Blvd., protect the forearms as well as hands. Harlow also carries a long glove that provides protection from damaging sun exposure ($25).
• Ratchet pruners. Fiskers' PowerGear ($25 at Home Depot) and other bypass pruners with the ratchet mechanism create extra power compared with traditional pruners that need a stronger squeeze to cut foliage.
• Ergonomic tools. Big handles and soft handles make cultivators, trowels, transplanters, weeders and other hand tools more comfortable to grip. Corona's eGrip tools ($8 at Lowe's) include a stop that keeps the hand from slipping off.
• Vegetable markers. Big pictures and lettering and a 10 1/2-inch height ($5 at Rillito) help gardeners easily identify their plantings without having to stoop too far.
• Kneeler seats. These convert from a kneeling pad to a seat. The Garden Walk Kneeler Seat ($40 at Rillito) provides handles to ease kneeling down and getting up.
• Carts. Baskets with wheels make it easier to carry tools, plants and supplies around the garden. The small and compact Ames Lawn Buddy ($30 at Lowe's) is pulled like a wagon.
Contact local freelance writer Elena Acoba at firstname.lastname@example.org