As a garden writer, I receive a number of garden products to try in my own garden each year, some new, some not. I enjoy doing this because in some cases, it allows me to try something I'd never heard of before and might never, had it not been brought to my attention. When I'm approached with something to review or try, I don't always say yes. If it's not something that I think I would actually use in my garden or that I feel that is not well-designed or well-made, I'll pass.
When I was in Seattle for the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in February, Karen Chapman, co-author of Fine Foliage (with Christina Salwitz), showed me the Garden Row Markers and Dibber that her husband makes. She asked me if I wanted to try them in my garden this spring, and I enthusiastically said, "YES!"
First of all, the design is simple, and I knew instantly that they would work well to help plant seeds in a straight row. But secondly, they were so beautifully made and I was instantly in love with their vintage look. To top it off, I loved that these finely finished wooden markers are made with tools her husband's grandfather passed down to him. Andy also uses tools that he's custom made himself.
The row markers are made of local wood (maple, cherry, or apple) that they either harvest from their own property near Duvall, Wash., or purchase from local arborists. They feature a slot for securing the twine so that they stay together when storing. The set of two, with twine, are $25 and can be purchased from Karen's website, Le Jardinet.
A companion piece, a dibber, comes in handy too, during seed planting time. I used it to make the trench for the seeds and also when planting larger seeds by just poking it into the soil to make the hole and dropping the seed in. It's marked off in one-inch increments, which helps with determining the depth of planting. The dibber sells for $10.
Of course, I cherish these because they were a gift from a friend, but I can't imagine any gardener that wouldn't love to have these in their garden tool basket.
For more information about the garden markers and dibber, visit Le Jardinet.