Gnome image courtesy of Shutterstock (Only kidding on this one. I heart gnomes.)

Gnome image courtesy of Shutterstock (Only kidding on this one. I heart gnomes.)

Inspired by the wonderful Haters Guide to The Williams Sonoma Catalog, which you have no doubt enjoyed via its countless Facebook postings, here is a similar look at the world of garden-related mail order. Sadly, a) I am not even one millionth as funny, and b) the gardening world lacks the rich diversity of overpriced and utterly superfluous crap that the food world has in such abundance. 

We gardeners are—pretty much—practical folk and we’re not as likely to throw our money around as much as rich and bored foodies might. Fortunately for me, W-S has ventured into the gardening realm, and a lot of their gardening goods are just as WTF-ish as their food-related offerings. In fact, Deadspin has plenty to say about their chicken coops. (I don’t really mind those. They help maintain living creatures, at least.) And there is other stuff that might not be expensive, but provides little benefit, unless you think we need more landfill fodder.

potting A “hardworking table.” It better be.
Remind me again why it’s necessary for me to use a table made with “reclaimed 19th-century European pine salvaged from buildings scheduled for demolition” as a surface for putting plants and dirt into pots and taking plants and dirt out of pots.

trugBut it’s bespoke!
This might look lovely as a stationary indoor fruit basket or some such—and at least it’s not $100 any more—but as for actually using the thing, all I can think about is the bumping against my hip and the scraping against my arm.

agrarianHeheh. They said agrarian.
This is priced at $12.95–$269.95. The $12.95 part is the replacement liner. Now. I have nothing against raised beds. But this is not a truly useful raised bed. This is a dumb-looking wooden crate that will yield a few herbs and lettuces to be used in a salad that—I will inform my dinner party guests—was just picked from my garden.

bulbshovelStupid bulb tricks.
There’s an argument to be made for expensive handmade garden tools. But this is not the item that would convince me. I plant hundreds of bulbs a year, and one thing I’ve learned is that you really don’t need a special tool for it. Stick a spade in the ground, drop the bulb in, cover it up. Boom. Better yet, stick a big shovel in the ground, throw a bunch of bulbs in, and cover them up. Double boom. This is $50 plus a backache.

greenhouseRecipe for fail, part I
Oh, seeds. Oh, seeds, seeds, seeds. I’ve learned my lesson with seed-starting and learned it the hard way. I am thinking that if, and only if, you filled up the cell part with better stuff and put it in a real greenhouse, you would likely get seedlings, but I’m also thinking that people with real greenhouses wouldn’t be buying this.

hydrofarmRecipe for fail, part II
And it looks so uninviting, like stuff you might wear to protect against against toxic waste. To get folks to spend $35, I would have gone another way with this photo shoot.

greenLEDI have no idea what this is or what it does, but it has the word “farm” in it.
On the other hand, it is only 17 bucks. Maybe I should buy it, put it on, walk around with it for a few days—yeah, at work would be best—and see what happens. People keep talking to me, and it’s annoying.

Got some useless garden gifts you’d like to complain about? Or—much more likely—do you want to rebuke me for needlessly trashing things that other people might really like and that might encourage them to garden? Regardless, I hope you all get great gardening gifts—including the best gift of all: a honking big gift cert to your favorite IGC!