Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Koopmans Gardenworks Garden Torchier - A Review


This spring, I've been sent several garden tools and other garden products to test for review. I enjoy this, because once in awhile, I receive a product that I not only like, I really like it and I want to tell others about it.  Such is the case with the garden torchier that I received recently from Koopmans Gardenworks.

Based in Batavia, Ohio, Koopmans' torchier is a simple design, but the quality with which it's made is outstanding. When I first unboxed it and put it up in my garden, I wondered to myself whether or not the heavy clay bowl was going to stay on the stand it came with. But I needn't have worried. This is a heavy-duty steel post (with a beautiful powder coat finish), with a Quadri-Stab base that stabilizes the whole thing when you put it in the ground.


The clay bowl (sold separately) is a very nice heavy Italian terra cotta. Mine came with a hole drilled in the bottom for drainage, as well as a larger one in the center, where the base inserts. But you can use any bowl as long as it has a center hole large enough for the 5/8-inch base centering pin.

Japanese Fantail Willow
(Salix sachalinensis 'Sekka')
Sadly, we lost our 'Sekka' Japanese Fantail Willow tree over the winter. I wasn't surprised that it didn't leaf out this spring, because it began to lose its leaves too early, late last summer. I guess three years in a row of droughtish summers was too much for it. But we had five good years together.

Under the willow, a nice thick mat of variegated creeping buttercup (Ranunculus repens 'Buttered Popcorn') developed over the years and the kitties loved to nap in it under the tree. Without the willow there, the buttercup looked rather out of place, like something was missing.

This is how it looks right after I planted it. When the plants mature in a few
weeks, I think it will look even better! This is the 24" base with an 18" bowl.


So the garden torchier found a home and I really like how it looks in the middle of the buttercup. I planted it with trial plants I received from Proven Winners the week before - Spiraea Double Play® Gold went in the center, surrounded by Superbells® Sweet Tart Calibrachoa and Superbena® Royale Iced Cherry Verbena.  Since the Spiraea is a perennial shrub, I'll plant it in the ground this fall. For now, it's small enough to use in this container.

Superbells® Sweet Tart Calibrachoa and Superbena® Royale Iced
Cherry Verbena by Proven Winners


The garden torchier was just the thing I needed to replace the willow. (The location was a bit crowded for the tree anyway.)  I can plant it up differently each year to give the area a change in looks.

Koopman's is a family-owned business and they've been selling the torchier since 1977. The base is made in the U.S. and has a 10-year warranty. The company will even refund your purchase price plus the initial shipping cost if you don't like it after 30 days. But I'm betting they haven't had to make good on that very often, if at all. This really is a quality product, all the way around.

For more information, you can visit their website at KoopmansGardenWorks.com. It is also offered for sale at Horticulture magazine's Gardener's Hub.

_____________________________
I received the Koopmans Garden Torchier free of charge for the purpose of trying it and reviewing it. I also received the plants from Proven Winners as part of their trialing program at no charge to me. As always, the opinions expressed here are my own, unless otherwise quoted.

7 comments:

Erin @ The Impatient Gardener said...

Pretty darn cool! I'm all about adding vertical elements to the garden and this certainly accomplishes that in a colorful way.

Now, if we could all just get these plants to start growing! Come on, Mother Nature, give us gardeners a break!

Lona said...

What a great idea.I really like the looks of it and yours is really pretty planted out Kylee. I just read your article in the Ohio Gardener. I wish I had read it before my previous posting on lamenting over my Hot Papaya echinacea not getting a double bloom. Maybe I should have waited until it was all filled out. LOL!

Rick a.k.a. Rabone said...

Kylee-
Have to ask this: watering requirements? Pots planted and on the patio that get shade take a lot of water here in SWMissouri, but this would be in full sun most all day. Looks like a daily maintenance issue?

Mary S. said...

I've visited the Koopman's garden in Faribault Minnesota and they use these Torchiers to great effect -- they have lots of them, filled with begonias. You feel like you are at a luau. Nice combination with the Proven Winners plants.

Rose said...

This is a lovely accent, Kylee, and I think you've found the perfect place for it in your garden.

By the way, I just now got around to reading your last post on poison ivy. No matter how careful I am to eradicate it each summer, it seems to come back in new places each year. I'd never thought about the birds spreading the seeds. Your tip on using latex gloves is a great idea, and one I'm going to try. It seems I spend half my summer itching somewhere:)

Commonweeder said...

This looks like a great idea.

Kylee said...

Erin ~ Yeah, it's another weird year. I'll be lucky if I have a tomato by my birthday! (Sept. 19th)

Lona ~ Hey, how is your 'Hot Papaya' doing now? :-) Mine all of a sudden is blooming like crazy! It's an interesting Echinacea for sure!

Rick ~ It's no different than any other container as far as watering goes. Right now, I can get by with watering it every other day. The heat of July and August will likely make me up that to daily though.

Mary ~ Oh wow, I can imagine how great that would be to see in person! I really do like this product and am glad to have been the recipient of it!

Rose ~ It's the same here, Rose! I find new sprouts every day it seems. Each time I get an itch, I wonder if it's going to turn out to be poison ivy. If it isn't, it's nearly always a mosquito that wanted a part of me. I get a pretty bad reaction to those most of the time, too. Just part of summer, I guess, right?

Pat ~ I think it's brilliant! And it really is a nice quality. Nothing flimsy or cheap about it.

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