A fantasy of tidiness (above).
I’m a sucker for anything that will lighten my load of garden chores, so when I saw Rainbow Spiral Supports in a catalog, I had to try them.
Made of rust-resistant, coated steel, they come in a set of five colors—red, orange, yellow, green, and blue. At 72 inches, they looked like they’d be tall enough to prop up my biggest plants.
I had given up on wooden stakes. They’re a pain to pound into the ground each spring, they rot, and I read somewhere that they can carry diseases. Uck. Enough already.
Tomato cages weren’t doing it for me either. The arms of the plants never seemed to use the cage for support. They’d sneak out and flop all over the ground as if I hadn’t bothered to try to help them at all.
This year I only used spirals.
First disappointment: Each one arrives in two pieces—for ease of shipping, I suppose. But it’s not so easy to insert the end of one into the socket of the other.
Then, my tomatoes refused to cooperate. They didn’t naturally insinuate themselves up the curves of the spiral. They needed to be constantly positioned as they grew. Unfortunately, I was out of town during one of their big spring spurts, so they’re now sprawling all over, as usual.
I’m hoping I can convince my cucumbers to wrap their tendrils around a few of these things and climb up to get themselves some light and air. My peppers are quite happy with a shorter version that I got at the local hardware store. Ditto the clematis plants.
The one thing I thought that I would NOT like about these things—the rainbow effect, which I imagined would turn my lovely garden into Candyland—I’m actually quite fond of. The colors really do cheer up the garden, and for that I offer two (green) thumbs up.
The messy reality.