Your garden oughta be in pictures

By now, you're probably searching through your garden for signs of life. If you manage to find a bud breaking or a spring ephemeral ready to pop, snap a picture and share it with the rest of us. It's easy to post photos on Home + Garden's homepage. Just go to and scroll down to Your Photos + Video. You can share photos of your garden as it comes to life or take a virtual stroll through other readers' gardens via pictures.


Garden gloves go green

If you're a green-minded gardener, you can now keep your hands -- and your conscience -- clean at the same time. A California company recently introduced recycled garden gloves made from plastic water bottles. The bottles are ground up and spun into recycled yarn, which is then woven into a high-tech Spandex mesh fabric called EcoSmart. West County Gardener claims its new gloves are tougher, lighter and just as soft as its conventional nylon Spandex gloves, with one key difference: Each pair of EcoSmart gloves keeps one 8-ounce plastic bottle out of landfills, and the manufacturing process also saves on energy and greenhouse gas emissions. The new gloves are available in six colors (plum, gold, stem, teal, charcoal and brick) and four sizes, for a suggested retail price of $20. They're sold at several garden centers around the Twin Cities. For more information and a store locator, visit


Name that rose

"A Rose by Any Name: The Little-Known Lore and Deep-Rooted History of Rose Names" (Algonquin Books, $19.95) just screams fussy: the fonts, the flowers, the Victorian-style sketches. I opened it expecting a breath of too-sweet sachets or dusting powder.

But this book isn't fussy. It's fascinating and funny in a dignified, rose-loving kind of way.

Authors Douglas Brenner and Stephen Scanniello have researched the stories of 1,200 roses, without instructions on pruning or tipping or shrieking about beetles. (There's some fun stuff about Paul McCartney's rose, though.)

The book briefly describes the ancient association between roses and funerals, and mentions that a wound from a rose thorn may have contributed to poet Rainer Maria Rilke's death. The best part is the index. I flipped through, looking at the famous names and hoping that maybe I'd find a rose with my name. Not the case. But if I wanted it to happen, "A Rose by Any Name" tells me how to proceed (page 154).

I did learn that Angela Lansbury has a rose. (She grows them, too.) And while there's a Dolly Parton rose, she doesn't garden. (She's worried about her nails.) There also are roses dubbed Weight Watchers Success and Tupperware.

Some of the names are accidentally funny: An American grower named a white rose "Angel Dust" in 1978, unaware that her flower now bears the street name for the drug PCP. Another blooper: "Pest," as in the former sister city of Buda. Not so fun in the garden.

In a nod to a little bit of fussiness, page 19 gives the recipe for rose water. You know, in case you need a gentle astringent and skin toner. (The book recommends fresh petals, preferably picked early in the morning.) I recommend this book for the indoors, not the garden. The fun facts are sweet little petals, even for those who lack the patience for the fussiest of roses.