An enormous bird feeder in the shape of a diamond ring. Silver gardening gloves. Gold hand shovels. What kind of enchanted garden is this?
Today, a Swedish startup called Garden Glory brings a collection of luxurious, whimsical garden tools to the United States. Founder Linda Battlöf came up with the idea after moving from an apartment to her first house. She and her husband bought a property with a gorgeous patio and garden. It was perfect, except for the ugly green garden hose in the corner held up by a rusty wall bracket. “It just ruined the whole effect for me,” Battlöf says. “What is the point of spending so much time nurturing a beautiful garden, then ruining it with ugly tools?” She went to her local hardware store and searched online to see if she could find nicer-looking garden products, but they were all the same. So she decided to launch a company and make them herself.
She was in the right place to launch such a business. Sweden is known for manufacturing durable garden equipment, with companies like Bahco famous for creating high-quality (if not terribly stylish) tools. Battlöf set out to find local manufacturers who would be able to create whimsical and functional garden items.
The result is fascinating, bizarre, and magical. Many of the pieces in the debut collection are not outlandishly priced, although they are more expensive than your run-of-the-mill garden tools. Watering cans cost between $49 and $59, depending on the size, and you can pick one in your favorite color, whether that’s jade green or a rose pink. You’ll most likely want to coordinate your can with your spade: The handles come in the same color scheme and the scoops are gold-colored. The most popular items so far are the $99 hoses, which come in the same array of colors, as well as gold, black, and white.
It appears Battlöf wasn’t alone in her sentiments about the ugly green hoses.
I spent an afternoon in my own garden with some of these tools. They were sturdy, even though they looked dainty. My favorite piece was the hand shovel, which had a solid heft. It made potting my new basil plants simple. The watering can also felt substantial and ergonomic, so it was easy to pour even though it was full. And after my little gardening session, I didn’t feel like I needed to hide all of these items in the basement or shed.
If you want to take your garden up a notch, there are more premium items to pick from. You can purchase a metal wall mount for your hose in the shape of a claw ($199) or reindeer antlers ($299) that come in an array of colors, giving your garden an otherworldly feeling. (The gold hose and gold antler combination has proven particularly popular, Battlöf says.) There are pots that come in the shape of a lion ($349) or a monkey with a gold tooth wearing a police officer’s hat ($399). And perhaps the pièce de résistance is the $199 bird feeder shaped like a diamond ring, designed to hang from a tree, with a little trough in the middle to hold the birdseed.