Debra Prinzing

Get the Email Newsletter!

New Garden Products for 2011 – Part One

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Here is an array of new 2011 Tub Trug colors

Part One of Two Consecutive Blog posts:
I was invited  by the producers of The Independent Garden Center Show, an annual trade show held in Chicago each August, to give two talks about garden and consumer trends. It was easy to say “yes,” because I had heard so much about this massive event. It’s the place to be and be seen for anyone in the gardening industry!

By experiencing the extravaganza first-hand and seeing what all the buzz was about, I got a real workout. With thousands of other attendees, I navigated the aisles and aisles of new garden products, tools, furniture, accessories and even plants. I managed to see it all over the course of three days – and here are my picks for the best new ideas that gardeners will see in 2011. 

You’ll likely discover these goods on the shelves of your local indy garden center, nursery or emporium. Follow the links to the web site for each company (some only sell wholesale, but many have store locator tabs). 

Ethel work glove

I’ve previously endorsed and written about the Ethel Glove so I wanted to stop by the booth of this cool Valencia, Calif.-based company to see what was new. The Ethel Work Glove, with an $8 price tag, is at first glance similar to the everyday rubber-dipped knit glove you’ll see at hardware stores and garden centers. But the Ethel staff explained that this glove is made from a durable knit material with a rubber palm, pads and fingertips formed by painting (rather than dipping) the gloves into a polypropylene finish. 

Ethel also has a new, slim and fashionable, black knit glove made from a bamboo-derived fine knit (protecting the cuff, back of the hands and fingers). The durable palm and pads are coated with a synthetic leather. 

A reimagined rubber tire-turned-trug

Tub trugs come in a rainbow of colors. I own several of these excellent plastic garden carriers with handles. They’re great for hauling anything around the garden and useful for pruning,  dead-heading and weeding projects. 

The designed-in-the-UK and made-in-Spain tubs will soon be available in 10 new colors. There are also a few fun new products, including a color-coordinating push broom ($29.99 retail) and two sizes of trugs made from recycled tires. To me, these look like a riff on the Southern tire planters – they even smell like old Goodyears! Thicker and a little less refined than the sleek, Pantone palette-trugs, the black rubber ones will be available in January for $9.99-$12.99. 

The tub truck - take it with you to the farmer's market!

For those of you who already own a medium or large trug, look for the January release of Tub Truck, a rolling carrier ($37.99). You can pop the bucket onto the frame and take it with you to a plant sale or farmer’s market. The handle has hooks for hanging additional bags. It’s a fun cart to pull behind you and a brilliant solution for gardeners. 

'Serenade' ~ a Napa Firelite, 12 in. tall

“Firelites” or fire bowls are all the rage. As Martyn Fernambucq of Napa Home & Garden puts it: “Fire is such a hot commodity right now.” 

I first noticed this new product category when an editor at Better Homes & Gardens sent me a photo of a small ceramic lantern with a flame (not a wick, mind you, but a 2-inch diameter flame that was flickering 2-3 inches above the round opening in the lantern). That’s when I went online to learn more and discovered that the lanterns are fueled by a long-burning smoke- and odor-free gel.

Like many things that bubble up to one’s consciousness and elbow their way onto one’s radar, it’s not really a surprise that the very next day I went to an al fresco dinner party for a friend where the hosts’ boathouse was illuminated by these flaming lanterns. Clearly they are decorative. The flame can’t  be blown out by a gust of wind (as would be the case with a candle).

Mesh orbs by Achla Designs

I’m all about orbs, spheres, globes, and balls as sophisticated garden ornamentation. My favorite piece of sculpture features a filigree-style wire mesh ball with a random “scribble” pattern. It was designed by artist Jennifer Gilbert Asher of TerraSculpture and fabricated by Mario Lopez in his Los Angeles metal shop. 

If you like this custom-designed and fabricated look, you might like the black wire orbs that are slightly reminiscent of Jennifer’s designs. I spotted them in Achla Designs booth. Nice design in small (6-inch), medium (12-inch) and large (18-inch) sizes. 

A sunflower pillow - perfect for the patio

Outdoor textiles are more interesting than ever, moving way beyond awning striped polyester choices. 

So of course, the Liora Manne booth lured me in and I was eager to learn more about the gorgeous, patterned pillows made with a felting-like process. 

The Lamontage pillows are made of 100% antimicrobial polyester microfiber for indoor/outdoor use. They measure 20-by-20 inches or 12-by-20 inches with removable, hand-washable covers. The collection includes place mats and outdoor rugs, as well. 

According to the Liora Manne web site, Lamontage is a technique “in which acrylic fibers are intricately structured by hand and then mechanically interlocked by needle-punching to create a nonwoven textile. Lamontage is based on the idea of versatility; breaking the boundaries of traditional textiles and creating a unique textile with unlimited possibilities.”