For a couple of years I politely turned down companies who offered me garden gloves, for the reasons stated above, but then a year ago I met Alice Strong, owner of GardenBasket.com, at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show. It was there that she gave me a pair of Atlas garden gloves and told me to test them after telling her of my resistance to wearing garden gloves. She told me about how the gloves were originally designed for assembly line work and all of a sudden the idea of garden gloves seemed less feminine than before.
(Me and my Atlas garden gloves on the day we discovered this pretty big earthworm. It was a happy day because we realized we must be doing something right in the garden to find evidence of them when they hadn't been spotted in years.)
I brought them home and quickly tossed them in the closet with a bunch of other garden products and forgot about them. Then one day I came across the garden gloves while I was headed out to the garden and put them on. Almost immediately the shiny fabric made me feel self-conscious. The gloves looked sparkly and something the King of Pop would wear. Just as I was about to take them off the mailman arrived at the gate and not wanting him to see the shiny garden gloves I was wearing; I did the first thing that came to mind. I stuffed my hands into the nearest planted container in the garden all the way up to my wrists. I motioned that I couldn't take the mail in my hands because my hands were occupied doing gardener things and he left the mail on the steps.
seed collars out of toilet paper tubes to act as seed/plant markers. Who needs a garden trowel when you can use your fingers to sow seeds?)
After he moved onto the next house I pulled my hands out of the soil and went about my business of cleaning up garbage from the garden, weeding, planting, picking and squishing Japanese beetles. By the end of the day the gloves looked less King of Pop and more Dexter. Eventually, wearing garden gloves seemed natural and I wondered why I had been so resistant to them in the past. At the end of every day I'd remember the qualities of these gloves that Ms. Strong mentioned on that fateful day. It usually felt like I wasn't wearing any gloves at all, and my hands weren't sweaty or smelly after wearing them for hours on end. These gloves even cleaned up nicely by simply tossing them in the washing machine.
(Me and my Atlas garden gloves one day planting some root-bound pepper plants in the container garden.)
While working in the garden I could easily take a phone call, send a text, sign for packages delivered by UPS or take a picture without having to take off the gloves. I found that leaving the garden gloves on the front porch made me want to do more garden chores that I'd usually put off.
Then I discovered all the ways I could use the Atlas gloves inside the house. I wore them to fix a leaky toilet, carry drywall and plywood (no splinters!) during a remodeling project, putty the windows, open jars and twist off bottle caps with ease because of the texturized rubber palm. This is where the story take a sad turn. Somehow during the house remodel I lost my Atlas gloves. These pictures and memories are all I have left of my year-long experimentation with garden gloves. The Atlas gloves were so useful for things other than gardening that I didn't leave them in one place and now they're gone. I plan on getting another pair because there is a lot of crap in the garden right now that I really need to deal with before planting new plants. It is just going to take some time because I feel like I need some time to get over the grieving process before getting another pair. I really thought the two of us would be together for years to come, they were that sturdy.
So, if you're looking for garden gloves I HIGHLY recommend the Atlas line of gloves especially for urban gardeners. Gardening in an urban setting you come across a lot of gross and dangerous things in the garden and it is important to protect your hands. Since Alice Strong is the one who introduced me to them I also recommend buying Atlas gloves from her online gardening store, GardenBasket.com.
Aside from being given my Atlas gardening gloves for free I wasn't compensated for blogging about them.