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Allan designs and plants flowering gardens in Montreal, Zone 5 [USDA Zone 4] .

See website, design work and favorite flowering plants at

Consultation and coaching for do-it-yourselfers is provided. Occasional emailed questions are welcome and answered free of charge. Oui, je parle francais.

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Entries in protecting flower beds (1)


I Hoze Around!

I dreamt of a garden product, not knowing if it actually existed, convinced that if it was real, it would solve a chronic garden problem. At a corner of my flower bed, the garden hose makes a sharp 90 degree turn and, as it is pulled further into the garden, it damages the flowers that were so strategically planted there. I needed a physical guide to reliably keep the hose away from the flowers. Whatever I saw online, or in mail order catalogues, made me skeptical because, from their photos, all of the items, offered as a solution, appeared to be inappropriate. Often, manufacturers invent problem - solving products that turn out to be nothing more than gimmicky toys.

A one page brochure arrived in the mail and piqued my interest because it introduced an item that matched my dream request. It looked exactly like the product that I had imagined. However, the brochure was delivered towards the end of last season and I was unable to follow up on it. During the winter, I wrote to the manufacturer and offered to test it and to post a product review if it was suitable.

The Cooley Wire Product Manufacturing Company is an Illinois based maker of corrosion and heat resistant wire products. The item they tempted me with is a guide that prevents a garden hose from damaging flower beds. It is called a HoseAround and consists of three heavy duty, coated, spring steel stakes, each 28 inches in height and looped at one end. For effective use, the manufacturer recommends 18 inches of the stake be inserted below ground and that only10 inches including the loop, remain above ground.

A few weeks ago I installed the HoseAround at the corner of the flower bed where the garden hose makes a 90 degree turn. Then, I laced the hose through the three loops that keep it suspended, elevated, and enclosed at all times and waited to see how the product would stand up to abuse by the gardener - who, when he cuts the grass, moves everything in his way, out of the way, including the hose weighted with a heavy sprinkler attached. I also needed to observe if my staff could disloge the stakes as they pulled the hose while it was laced into the loops. In both cases the rugged loops remained upright, there was little to no resistance from the guide as the hose was mishandled. the hose remained above ground and enclosed in the loops at all times, and most important of all, my flower bed was unharmed. That is the ideal product that I had hoped for. I am pleased that it found me and delighted with the results. Readers who require information or who wish to purchase this product can visit the company website at