When rubber-palmed, cotton-knit garden gloves were invented, backyard horticulturalists cheered—myself included. The fabric is light and cool, and the rubber keeps hands dry while offering protection from small prickers. Hooray!
I always keep a pair in my toolbox now, and I use them a lot. But they’re not perfect, I’ve discovered. Their main flaw, as far as I’m concerned, is the fragileness of that thin coating of rubber. Sometimes I end up cutting through it while I’m clipping grass. Or major prickly bushes stab through it. In either case, my hands end up as mincemeat. And then the gloves leak. Dirt gets in. Water gets in. Poison ivy gets in. They’ve become useless.
So I now switch out my gloves. Rubber-coated for chores that need a flexible touch, and tough leather for the nasty stuff.
Eventually, of course, even the leather ones need to be replaced. Which is what sent me to the local hardware store at the end of May.
Bad timing. I live in the Mother’s Day Zone, the area in the US where serious gardening begins on the holiday weekend that falls mid-month.
By the time I got there, gardeners had already swept through the store’s glove section like locusts. The rack held only odd-sized pairs, in odd colors, of just a few odd glove varieties.
Well, everything in Washington, DC, is competitive. Get your gloves early or go online, right? Wrong. Gardener’s Supply, my usual source for green gear, had nothing. And a global Google search wasn’t helpful either. There are SO many kinds of leather gloves. How to choose?
Then I had an idea—I looked at the tag from my old gloves. Googled the brand, found a place that sold what I had, and ordered new pair. They were cheap, even with the shipping and handling. And they arrived fast—in time for gardening on the first weekend in June.
These gloves have a few features that I especially like. First, they’re made from leather that’s tough but supple. Second, a suede reinforcing patch has been sewn across each palm. And, finally, the drawstring at the wrist—anchored by that little red ball—allows me to snug them shut so dirt and leaves don’t get in.
Order them at Blain’s Farm and Fleet—
Grain Cowhide Glove Style 1132