For a change here in lately not-so-sunny California, the sun is out and it’s downright warm outside. Our dreadful rain is, at least for now, only a recent memory.

So it’s time to think about outdoor pursuits like gardening.  If you are a garden putterer or a full-fledged and passionate homegrown horticulturist, you’ve got to have the right tools, and I’ve been trying some I know you will want.  My shopping excursion took me to one of my favorite retailers.

All the goodies tested and recommended are from our good friends at the C. Crane Company, a catalog retailer (the best I know of) that many of you know for their best-in-class radios, LED lights and flashlights and lots of other C. Crane-tested products.  I have long said and recommended that when you buy from the C. Crane Company, you can be assured the product is the best of its type and you are buying from the best company in the business.  What a treat and surprise it was to see so many outstanding gardening goodies and essentials from the same company and in the same tradition as everything else they offer for sale. What Bob Crane has done is to test lots of products to find only the gardening tools HE liked best for each purpose, and now he offers them to us.  He has done all the testing and now offers one-stop-shopping.  Thanks, Bob!  Whether you’re a novice or have years of experience, I am confident you will appreciate each of these garden tools from the C. Crane Company.

Let’s start with the right gloves.  Over the years I have accumulated everything from heavy-duty leather work gloves to soft and decidedly light-duty cotton work gloves.  I’ve tried rubberized gloves and many pairs of gloves recommended for gardening chores, but NONE have matched my new ones, the Bionic Gardening Gloves.

Butter soft, with anatomic design that has padding across the palm and on each finger, these are the best gardening gloves I have ever used.  I even have an another set I use as driving gloves.  Note the expandable areas across the back of the hand on top of the knuckles and on the finger webbing, as well as the Velcro wrist closure to help keep debris on the outside.  These “second skin” $45 gloves have a therapeutic, supportive quality that makes my hands feel great while wearing them.  Beyond being the ultimate, most comfortable gloves I have EVER worn, I call them my “grip assist” when using a shovel or trowel, gardening scissors, pruner or shears.  Where have these things been all my life!  Available in sizes up to XXL.

I’ve used many, many hose nozzles, too.  Yes, so very many over the years.  Some have been presented as the world’s finest, or the best in the world.  From pot metal junk to brass nozzles and even plastic, or combinations of materials, I’ve tried and discarded so many of them, and spent quite a bit of money over the years.  And then I tried the $50 Ultimate Nozzle sold by Bob Crane.  Now, I’ve really found the best.  It looks and operates like a mini firefighter’s hose nozzle.  Made from stainless steel, fiberglass, with brass threads and a high-quality, comfortable rubber cover, it exudes precision and quality. I can see why it is that Bob chose to carry this truly ultimate hose nozzle.  Twisting the head turns it on and off.

From the off position, I start twisting to open the flow and keep twisting to get to a strong, precise spray that really carries far, then keep twisting to get through a more mild, wide sprinkle pattern and then keep going until it twists to the off position – with NO leaks.  The two-way shut-off at both the beginning and the end of the twisting path is a real convenience.  And, when it’s off, it’s OFF. This really IS the ultimate hose nozzle like no other I’ve seen.  This is so worth the $50 price of entry.  For get about those squeeze trigger-type nozzles!  What a pleasure it is to use my new, heavy duty Ultimate Hose Nozzle.  For maximum performance, the manufacturer recommends the use of at 5/8-inch or larger diameter hose.  GET THIS NOZZLE!

Pruning shrubs and bushes is another tough job.  With the combination of the Bionic Gloves and Bob’s $18 Ratchet Pruners, the job becomes much easier. I used to grin and bear down and try to get through landscaping chores.  With my old pruners, my hands ached from the strain. Even my jaw hurt from gritting my teeth.  Not any more!

The non-slip grips, precision sharp cutters and ratcheting mechanism all make pruning easy.  The ratcheting mechanism allows me to get a grip, make a cut and then keep on squeezing through to completion, with all the power multiplied throughout the motion. In short, these suckers really work, whether it’s a new offshoot growth or a substantial, ½-inch branch of green wood. Use them for crafts, too, such as wreath building.

Larger jobs, such as tree pruning, call for heavier-duty tools, and Bob’s got us covered here, too.  The $25 28-inch Bypass Loppers are just the ticket to get that big job done.  For larger limbs up to 1.5-inches in diameter, these long-handled wonders make quick and easy work of this task.  I pruned and trimmed our birch tree with ease due to the cutter’s compound action that actually triples your cutting power.  Gee, I didn’t know I was that strong!  My arms did not ache and my shoulders experienced no fatigue or pain.  That’s a switch!  The high carbon steel blade assures a long and sharp life.  Oh, and the long handles are not only strong but made of lightweight aluminum.  Another got-to-have-it tool offered by the C. Crane Company.

Whether you want to be your own Edward Scissorhands or you’re in the mood to shape and prune your shrubs and hedges, the right tool makes the job easier and more accurate.  The Bahco Professional Hedge Pruning Shears, which Bob sells for only $70, are made of Swedish steel and cut accurately and very fast.  Snip, snip!  Weighing only 2.75 pounds, I found these shears worked wonders and I no longer dread the next time I need to trim and shape my hedges.

Finally, when you need a pruning saw for those larger limbs, I found Bob’s folding $30 Bahco Laplander Sandvik steel pruning saw did an excellent job and cut through some three-inch branches with ease.  This very high quality saw will last and stay sharp for years and years.  It’s lightweight and locks open, and the non-stick coating on the blade helps it go through the branches with extra ease.  I won’t say the job was effortless, but I will say it was easy beyond my expectations.  I wouldn’t think of trying a big pruning job without this saw, and you’ll love it, too.

So, there you have it, my one-stop-shopping trip through Bob Crane’s new selection of gardening tools and accessories – the essentials you’ll want and order as I did.  Make the most of the warmer weather and get your garden in tip-top shape.  It’s amazing what the right tools can do!

I know these tools will make your gardening chores easier as they did mine, whether you love the work as a hobby or you do it all as a necessity.  Either way, I’m glad that, once again, I trusted Bob at the C. Crane Company to offer the best products around.

Visit www.ccrane.com or call 1-800-522-8863 for information, to buy any of these wonderful tools or to order one of Bob’s free catalogs with no obligation.

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