Editors Choice Awards 2007

We spent the spring & summer of 2007 testing dozens of tools and other gardening aids. These 12 proved themselves so valuable to us we recommend them to you.


Digging Tool
The shape and sharp edges of the Pro Gardener's Digging Tool, popular with professionals, make it great for digging out tough weeds, report Pam and her crew. The serrated edge cuts roots and vines—especially the massive roots of biennial weeds such as burdock, Pam adds. $57; garrettwade.com

The Adventure Hat does much more than provide some shade, Pam says. The lightweight fabric fully blocks the sunlight, protecting your face, nose, ears, and back of the neck from harmful rays. "I love this hat," says the usually restrained Pam, "and you can quote me." $38; groworganic.com

The OXO Garden Kneeling Mat is our constant companion in the garden. The extra thickness makes kneeling easy and keeps dampness at bay. You can work longer in the garden because the kneeler makes it easy to change position—flip it closed, and it's a comfortable seat. $15; oxo.com

Professionals who regularly work with tools know that sharp edges make everything from shovels and spades to pruners much more effective. The Swiss Professional Sharpener lets you give your tools a fresh edge quickly and easily without disassembling them. $28; gardenhardware.com


Wildlife Identifier
Okay, this one is pure fun, but we enjoyed the iFlyer BirdSong Scanning Wand all season long. Recorded in the wild, the songs of 206 birds and 10 frogs are captured on bar codes in a pocket-sized book, and you play the sounds by simply passing the penlike instrument over the bar codes. Adults wanted to use this audio wildlife ID guide as much as children. Included are a carrying case, plus shoulder and wrist straps. $100; identiflyer.com