Thursday, July 9, 2015

Lee Valley rocks!

I’ve had a long term relationship with the Lee Valley catalogue, when a new issue shows up I can’t wait to pour over its pages (the fabulous, adjustable, stainless steel hanging cables I wrote about back in 2013 came from Lee Valley). So, you can imagine I was rather excited when I learned the opening night bash of the 2015 Garden Bloggers Fling would be held at their downtown Toronto store…(this is where I would insert a photo of the store, had I thought to take one)…

Of course I was conflicted. I wanted to shop, but there were all these people that I hadn’t seen for a year (or ever – there were lots of new bloggers this year)…what’s a girl to do? Well I have to admit the people won. I gratefully noshed on their delicious appetizers, sipped their tasty beverages all the while chatting chatting chatting. Before heading back to the hotel I grabbed my swag bag and learned we’d been given a $50 gift card, oh my!

Not wanting to jump into a quick purchase I waited until I had time to pour over the online catalogue and evaluate the possibilities (in other words: shopping in my pajamas!), here's the short list of things I considered...

Any gardener can always use sheers, snips and pruners. These bonsai trimming shears were tempting...not that I would use them for bonsai of course.

Felcos, they say there's nothing better...

And then there's this: Magnifier tweezers, how bad do I need these! You have no idea.

Andrew suggested this cool downspout trellis a few years ago when I was looking for a place to grow the Clematis tibetana var. vernayi. That plant would have swallowed this up in a matter of minutes, but a nice (hot hardy) Passionflower would be perfect.

I've also dreamed of owning their tomato spirals. All I can find locally are green ones, I like the shiny steel ones!

These "all-purpose" hooks are inciting too...

And so are these swivel hooks...

So here's my shipment just minutes after it arrived. Any guesses as to what I chose? There's a hint just to the right...(the biggest tomato plant I've ever grown!)...

Tomato spirals!

And the swivel hooks, because it's annoying when you hang up a heavy planter and it insists on turning (just a little bit) so the plant you want to be in the front is not.

Nothing went to waste, even the box was enjoyed.

The spirals at work...

I believe they're supposed to go up the center of the plant but since mine has heavy arms going out in every direction (they outgrew the tomato cage) I figured I could put them to use in a supporting role there.

And...(this is very exciting), the ends have holes...

Just the right size for my solar lanterns!

Since the privet was removed I haven't had anything to hang them from. Now they can go anywhere.

The generous folks at Lee Valley also gave us these soil tools (Lila for scale)...

And my new favorite gardening hat. Thank you Lee Valley!  I'm curious, if you were at the Fling what did you spend your gift card on? If you weren't there what would you have spent $50 on?

Postscript: Check this out, Lee Valley is also doing right by their employees: "Through his company’s 35-year history, Leonard Lee, founder of Lee Valley Tools, has ensured that the highest-paid worker never makes more than 10 times the wage of the lowest-paid worker."..."In the U.S., the typical CEO at a large company earned 354 times more than the average worker last year"...read more here. And thank you for the link Linda!

All material © 2009-2015 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

34 comments:

  1. I think I might have been tempted to get that downspout trellis, but I wouldn't have used it for a downspout. I would have tried to come up with some kind of vertical gardening application. I would have tried building a box-like back for it, and made it into a tower of Semps and Sedums. I have some cheapo version of the magnifier tweezers, and it's a useful tool. You got a lot for your $50!

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    1. Excellent idea Alison. Maybe you need to order yourself one?

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  2. AnonymousJuly 09, 2015

    Hi Loree,

    Perhaps you don't want to post this, but here is another reason why Lee Valley rocks!
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/time-to-lead/how-one-company-levels-the-pay-slope-of-executives-and-workers/article15472738/

    I really enjoy your blog. :-)

    Linda

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    1. Are you kidding? That's wonderful - thank you for the link, they just got even better!

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  3. Hot damn, you just helped me figure out what to spend mine on! I've been wanting a downspout trellis for a long time. A-shopping I will go!

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  4. Apart from the branded ones did they develop the other products they sell? A lot of thought went into them with definitely the practical (and stylish) gardener in mind. Those stainless steel tomato supports would make a great garden art feature too especially as a group.

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    1. I don't know for sure but I think their offerings are probably a mix of things they've developed and things other companies have created. I was wondering if I'd be successful growing a vine on those supports. Would they be too "slippery"...I guess I'll find out!

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  5. You made some great choices! The tomato spirals look very versatile & pefect for your solar lanterns! Sounds like Lee Valley is a great and obviously very generous company! Happy new stuff to you! Lila is looking as adorable as ever!

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    1. She works so hard to be adorable, as a result she sleeps most of the day!

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  6. I used my $50 for a comfortable pair of bright green garden boots. Bonus: When Mr. TG and I went camping last week (mostly in the rain), my feet were the driest and toastiest part of me.

    Here's a link to copy and paste: http://www.leevalley.com/en/Garden/page.aspx?p=72811&cat=2,51676&ap=1

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  7. Great post Loree. I ordered some expanding handle loppers. I have some limbs that have numbered days. I also got one of those bandanas that you soak and wear to keep you cool (have I remembered to wear it yet? no...oops) Have used the hand tools to help install our flagstone patio. They were so generous. Lee Valley rocks.

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    1. Sounds like you had fun shopping too!

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  8. Ah, the dangers of a $50 gift card - they often start me off on a buying frenzy. I don't think I've ever managed to spend within my gift card means when it comes to plants. In this case, I'd probably go for the bonsai shears (because mine seem to have disappeared) and the Felco pruners (because you can never have too many pruners).

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    1. I did go a tiny bit over, but only because I failed to realize the gift card was in Canadian dollars.

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  9. I'll definitely have to check out their web site. They seem to be doing everything right as a company AND carry great products.

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  10. So many great products to choose from. The swivel hooks have me thinking about your Agave basket, and how now the spiky part can always face the most dangerous direction. :)

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  11. It's a good supplier. I've bought from them several times.

    Lila is so cute!

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  12. You hinted pretty broadly about the tomato stakes, and the swivel hooks had your name all over them, so I had your choices pegged. Do they have hoses? I would get a high-end hose (you can easily guess why all I think about lately is hoses). So why didn't I hustle on over to Orchard hardware and put my AMLD swag coupon down on a hose?

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    1. Smart lady! Hoses, I think so...(hustle on!)

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  13. Oh, I've long thought those Tomato spirals would be fun to try. Thanks for the idea! I love their catalogues, too, although I wasn't familiar with the company until the Fling. Now I'm definitely a fan!

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    1. Have you spent your gift card yet?

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  14. Eeeeeeee, I would have a hell of a time choosing. What a great swag bag item!

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    1. Yep! It was very generous of them.

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  15. What a cool company. So many great things to choose from (that downpipe trellis is really clever). Lila is such a cute little dork climbing into that box. I hope you get lots of tomatoes!

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    1. Yes, she is a dork! She wanted to lay down in there but couldn't manage to get the remaining leg in. I tried to help her but by then she was over it.

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  16. Ohh, I must check if there is any possibility to purchase something here in Spain...
    Nice tomato spirals!!

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    1. I wonder? Shipping would probably be crazy expensive though.

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  17. I like Lee Valley, too. Haven't ordered anything for a long time so no catalogue for a while, though. I would probably have gotten the bonsai shears. Even though I don't really have any bonsai at the moment, I love the design and they are great shears in general. I do want to grow bonsai again someday. Right now I have two potential bonsai. Those tomato spirals make great hangers for your lanterns!

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  18. Oh, I love seeing what other gardeners found enticing at Lee Valley. My pick is the mini weed torch - can't wait to fry those weeds! I've been getting their catalogue for ages as well & it's always a treat when it arrives in the mail. Not the most environmentally conscious, I know, but I really do prefer to leaf through a paper catalogue than browse online - it's just so much more comfortable & homey when you are curled up on the sofa than trying to balance a laptop somehow ;)

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