I never thought the melodic strains of Greensleeves would come to mind while looking at gardening gloves. Isn’t this pair a showstopper? They’re leather and suede––so pretty I’d almost wear them with my good black coat.
They belong to my friend and client, Marilyn Rose (nice name). Thanks to her, I now have a pair of proper rose pruning gloves.
In January, while pruning the rose garden I designed for her, Marilyn began helping me, wearing these beautiful gloves. They were a Christmas present from her husband Fred. I admired them so many times and even took pictures. Marilyn finally said, “Carolyn you can get some for yourself on the way home. Navelets, the store where Fred bought them, is just left of the freeway onramp.”
I went to Navelets, but first I must show you the gloves I wore at Marilyn’s. I’ve probably gone through forty pairs of these gloves since I’ve been growing roses, but do they protect my forearms? No. I’m one of those rustic types who romanticizes my rose wounds. When I found my blood on the petals of a white rose––I thought it was a secret poem between me and said rose––I think it was ‘Evening Star’.
I liked the hardy rubber-coated gloves so much––I even photographed them just out of the dryer. Yes, they’re washable. But that’s no reason to go around with rose wounds.
Last spring, while visiting rose gardener Pamela Temple, I caught a glimpse of her well-worn gauntlets in her mudroom. A faint thought, I should have some of those, went through my head.
Gauntlets? What a word. Webster says, “They are stout gloves with a long loose wrist.”
Navelets was out of stock in my size of the green leather and suede gloves, but they had plenty more to choose from. I settled on an ultra sturdy pair. The next week I tried them out in another client’s garden and wondered how I could possibly have done without them all these years.
The green gloves are made of premium goatskin by Gardenworks. The Womanswork leather gloves are washable and 100% breathable. The rubber coated shorties will always be in my kit, but now, when it comes to pruning roses I’ll grab my gauntlets.