The Garden Shoe Upgrade

Back in 2010, for some reason, I lined up all my gardening shoes for this enticing group photo.  The shoes mostly kept my feet dry and were strong enough for jumping on a shovel, but they weren’t exactly podiatrist-recommended, a factor I paid no attention to – until this year.

For more than a decade,  my go-to gardening shoes have been these dirty old Crocs.

Or this other pair of dirty old Crocs – the iconic and ugliest Croc of them all.  My gardening ensemble was completed by pants, a shirt and socks all soaked in Permethrin to protect against ticks. In this photo I had just parked at my other (adopted) garden, ready to go to work on it.

The quality of my shoes came under scrutiny recently because my right foot suddenly, for no known reason, showed all the symptoms of plantar fasciitis, an injury SO common I bet half of you have had it.  My physical therapist suggested I try Hoka walking shoes, so I bought some and I’ll get to try them on a nice long walk when I’m finally pain-free again. (Meanwhile, I’m icing, stretching and massaging per his orders.)

For everyday, around-the-house-and-garden footwear, I stepped up from those thin old Crocs to Hoka’s Ora Recovery 3 Slider, which I captured for you this morning as I was heading out to the garden with that same anti-tick apparel. (I notice now that the pants are sloppily tucked into the always-dirty-looking socks and I think I spy a toe popping out of one of them.) 

But back to the new shoes, look at all that support! And they slide on and off but stay on without any clinching of toes.  I loved them instantly and went online to buy a pair in black that I could wear outside the house without embarrassment. (Though hey, at least they’re better looking than you-know-whats.)

They DO cost more than Crocs but when it comes to pain avoidance, my motto has become “What’s money for, anyway?”

Gardener’s Little Helper – the Rain Gauge

Last summer I bought this cheap, beautifully analog rain gauge, stuck it here in my front garden, and now I wonder why it took me so damn long to use one! Instead of wondering how long the overnight storm lasted and how much it might have helped, now the answer is right here and it’s far more locally precise than anything the Weather Service can tell me. You just have to remember to empty it after each observation.

And here are two of those observations, the one on the left recording over 3 inches sometime last week. The other shot is from August of last year when it registered over 5 and a half inches in my back garden. Whether it’s little or a lot of rain, it’s so useful to know.

One more thing – just remember to bring in a glass gauge like this for the winter.  I didn’t do that for my first gauge, and this spring I found its shattered remains in the border.