A rotary response to ubiquitous rust

Sometimes my hubby, Metric Man, is such a sweetie. He was on a trip to the States and brought back the perfect gardening gift, a matched set of rosewood-handled gardening pruners! What a wonderful thought. Sadly, although the handles are lovely, the metal itself has a little problem common in Costa Rica. They rust.

It doesn’t matter how quickly and thoroughly you wipe down your gardening shears and pruners after you use them, they still rust. I was so careful with these pruners. They always came in with me after I used them and were wiped down then hung in the gardening bag, but it didn’t seem to matter. They rusted.

If I could find it, I would use some of that liquid rust dissolver on them, but I can’t, and sandpaper is just too much for me. Fortunately, some years ago I asked for a very useful birthday present and Metric Man actually listened. So I got a Dremel for my birthday. Metric Man is getting used to my asking for strange un-girly gifts. One Christmas, I asked for and received a new wheelbarrow. There was even a nice big red bow on it. Some people want perfume. Some people want wheelbarrows. My hubby just shakes his head.

A Dremel is a wonderful tool for all kinds of craft work. It is also a handy tool for dealing with rust. For the last 30 minutes or so, I have been removing rust from my pruners, and then I changed the bit and sharpened them so well that they will cut paper. Doesn’t sound like much, but try cutting paper with your pruners and learn the lesson. If it will cut paper, twigs, branches, and roots are a snap.

Back to pruners and rust. Somewhere someone must make rust-proof metal pruners and garden shears and I would love to invest in them. My first guess is that they are not made in China. China made lovely rosewood handles and rusty metal.

My second guess is that, if they are made at all, they are made in Germany or Switzerland. If I am ever in either country I intend to look for them. (If you are ever in either country, email me and I will pay you for them).

Still, my Dremel made quick work of the rust and I am grateful for that. I just hope I don’t have to do it too often.

Plant of the Week

This is another one of those puzzle plants I run across from time to time. It is a puzzle because nobody, and I mean nobody, knows what it is. Here I am with the internet at my command (“Sit! Stay!”) and seven different Facebook pages full of gardeners and not one person can give me a hint. When that happens, I turn the puzzle over to my readers for help, so here it is, a lovely little shrub with no name. At least it doesn’t get rusty . . . .

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