For the garden
Get your kids involved in gardening by purchasing them a set of kiddy-sized garden tools. To appeal to young dirt-diggers, some manufacturers have introduced garden tools that picture popular cartoon characters such as Barbie and Sponge Bob. For catalogues and links, visit www.kidsgardening.com.
If deer and rabbits plague your garden, consider installing a motion-sensitive sprinkler. Bambi and Thumper won't like getting drenched when they come to feast on your flowers and veggies. Many motion-sensitive sprinklers can detect movement up to 35 feet away. They sell for about $100.
If you've ever accidentally chopped up the roots of a prized plant with an ordinary hoe, then give the Circlehoe a try. The Circlehoe cuts weeds and breaks up soil while allowing gardeners to safely hoe between close-growing plants. The tool's front side is sharp, but its dull backside can be used to safely push back foliage, thus eliminating the need to bend down. Circlehoes come in different sizes and range in price from about $10 to $40. Check them out at www.circlehoe.com.
The shrake (part shovel, part rake) is perfect for sifting rocks out of soil and scooping leaf debris out of ponds. Check it out at www.diynetwork.com.
If you love the rich results that compost gives to your soil but don't love the stinky smell of compost lying around in your kitchen before it actually makes it outdoors to the compost pile, invest in an odor-free compost pail. The pail has a snap-lock lid and carbon filters to keep odors under control. Gardener's Supply Company sells the pail for about $17. Check it out at www.gardeners.com.