Saturday, May 29, 2010

Garden boots of the rich (?) and famous

So, you've been gardening for a while. You've got your favorite shovel, found a dandy garden center, and settled the glove-or-not-to glove issue.

Had it with your soggy sneakers?

Time to get some real garden shoes.

Here's the scoop from garden writers who are famous for their garden boots.

Their signature footwear.

As the saying goes, by their boots ye shall know them.

*First up is Billy Goodnick, landscape architect, contributor to Fine Gardening magazine, author of the Garden Wise Guy blog, and former landscape architect for the City of Santa Barbara.


"Since I left the 8-5 sludge behind a year ago, I pretty much live in my Crocs. They really CAN go anywhere: Got the solid black for state dinners, khaki when I disappear from the paparazzi, 6” heel-snake-print-platform-sandal-Jimmy-Choo knock-offs for garden openings, and my steel-toed orange Doc Martins for manly activities. My shoes love me as much as I love them. Look how they flock around when daddy comes home!"


*Angela Davis has flowers, vegetables and Silkie chickens in her garden near Seattle. She's so obsessed with garden footwear that she named her blog Gardening in My Rubber Boots. Angela likes classic Wellington boots (a.k.a. Wellies) and her favorites are the Hunter brand worn by Queen Elizabeth.

"I have two pairs of black rubber boots. I wear my Hunter boots to plant sales, garden shows, Little League games, the grocery store, etc. Then I have my "stunt double" basic black rubber boots that get all the hard jobs around the house. When my Hunters are no longer new, I'm sure I'll start using them for the harder jobs too.”


*Shawna Coronado is all about getting green and getting happy. Author of the hit book Gardening Nude, she's everywhere, communicating her message of how to heal yourself and heal the world. Find out more about this dynamo at her site The Casual Gardener.

“Due to a tight budget, I was unable to buy garden boots. I used my old tennis shoes when working in the mucky areas of my gardens and promised myself if I ever saw a pair of taller boots that were priced right I would get them. Happily, I found a pair for under $25 this season at Target and they look great. Turns out they are a stylish and inexpensive solution to keeping your ankles and pants clean when gardening and I love them with a passion!”


*Dianne Benson is the style maven of the gardening world. A former fashion designer and retailer, she famously turned to gardening and wrote the classic book Dirt: The Lowdown on Growing a Garden with Style. Dianne has created stunning gardens in the Hamptons and recently opened an online store offering her top picks of garden tools and accessories. Find them all at The Best@DianneB. and read her blog Dirtier. She's wearing some boots from her shop:

“These boots are as good in town as they are in the garden...they are not heavy...they are not ugly and they have that fabulous see-through heel that is not too flat. I, personally, cannot make mad dashes around the garden in Wellies -- they make me trip over my own feet."


"A tasty and young garden writer from The Wall Street Journal, Anne Marie Chaker, recently introduced me to the Chasseur boot from Le Chameau -- they are as sturdy as but much sleeker than Wellies...it could be because they're French or it could be because they're $400...either way they are very chic in a more rugged way; but still not as quirky as the Panther Boots from Dianne B. via Sarazienne in France.”


A close-up of those Dianne B. boots:



Which brings us to our First Gardener. Hmm. Those Converse sneakers are not good for more than one hour in the garden.


Ma'am, with the greatest respect--don't you think, as a role model for gardeners all over the world, you need to kick it up a notch in the footwear department?

Lots of great choices for you here. I look forward to seeing some serious garden boots in the White House garden soon!

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29 comments:

Kat said...

I have to say I'm sticking with my sneakers. I find boots get too hot here except for the middle of winter (or mucking out a pond) and I've never been a fan of the lack of support offered by crocs. Nope a well worn pair of old sneakers rest at my back door for when I need to get outside and do some work. And when they get dirty, I simple hose 'em off and let them sit in the sun to dry.

Tyla Mac said...

Sneakers work fine for me for most of the summer because it's pretty dry but I would never wear brand name shoes for gardening. I wear generic sneaks for house and garden work. I have a pair of boots for winter gardening but they are way too hot this time of year.

Like Billy I love to wear Crocs whenever I can. They are the perfect summer work/play shoe. If you get mud on them you can just hose them off and they're good as new. I usually wear the cheap knock-offs from K Mart,though.

Angela said...

What a fun post! I'm honored to be a part of such an impressive group of gardeners. Thanks for including me!

Apel Mjausson said...

I'm surprised GoreTex-lined hiking boots aren't mentioned. Pretty much all British gardening presenters wear them. Gardening is so much more enjoyable when I don't have wet, cold feet and they are much more supportive than wellies.

Here in California, I mostly wear Gore-Tex-lined hiking shoes. It doesn't matter that water is dribbling from the hose -- my feet stay dry.

Shawna Lee Coronado said...

I swear by my boots and am glad you like them too - they've been awesome!

Shawna Coronado

Christine said...

Love this post! Great topic. I personally prefer the good old fashioned flip-flop. They are cheap so I can keep a pair outside every door in my home and slip into and out of them with ease. Granted there are times when full coverage is needed but luckily not often here in the northern Central Valley. I used to wear those rubber clogs. I thought they identified me as a true gardener for sure. But since I keep my garden shoes outside, (if I don't my husband is forever putting them in a closet somewhere leaving me in a tailspin since a closet is the LAST place I would look for them!) and while it never did happen, I was constantly worried I might slip my bare foot into one only to find a 6- or 8-legged (or worse) creature taking up residence there. They also didn't drain water well and would get quite squishy when wet. Another advantage is the refreshing sensation I get hosing my feet while toiling away in the Valley heat. I'm afraid Crocs just wouldn't provide enough exposure to the bracing coolness of the icy hose water.

Urban Gardens said...

Fun post! Impressive group of sure-footed and well-y clad personalities.

Kathy said...

I would like to find some serious work boots for a woman's extra wide (like EE) that can take an orthotic. I want them to be waterproof and protective of one's arch when using a garden fork or shovel. This is surprisingly difficult to do.

Garden Wise Guy said...

Ms. Daffy: Thanks for getting me involved with this delightful post. I just retired a pair of Crocs this morning, but rather than add them to landfill, I lined each shoe with a red sock, filled the socks with potting soil, stuck a few experimental succulent cuttings in them and nailed them to my garage wall. Let's see First Lady Obama try THAT with her Converse!

Lemme know when you want to play again. This is fun, fun, fun, girlio!

DD said...

Great blog.......excellent fun and always very amusing. I love my Harry Hall yard boots for gardening, as they have are half material and half welly boot material, perfect for all my gardening needs, here in England.

susan morrison said...

Normally I'd be thrilled to be grouped with the first lady, but in this case, I can see that only losers admit to gardening in worn out running shoes. I DO have a stylish pair of rubber boots purchased for $5.00 on super mark down from Smith and Hawkin that I keep in my car for muddy client gardens - clearly I need to step up my at home garden footgear as well if I ever want to make it in the big time (i.e. get mentioned in a Daffodil Planter blog post).

Red Studio said...

You are such a clever lass. You have been busy posting such fabulous things! I have some reading to do. Thank you for the low down on boots.

PlantingOaks said...

I don't get what the problem with old running shoes is.

Unless you're truly wading around in standing water, I'd rather have the better fit and breathability.

Just hose them off when you're done.

(and if there is standing water...it's probably not the best time to be gardening anyway, now is it?)

Grace Peterson said...

Believe it or not, I live in the RAINY Pacific Northwest and I don't ever wear boots in the garden. For one thing I've got things pretty well under control as far as mud goes, plus I like to kick them off when I need to run indoors [usually for a potty break]. I wear a worn out faux Burkenstock. None of that style stuff for me. I'm not out to impress anyone with my ravishing beauty. LOL

The crocs look interesting though. And your post is definitely interesting. Love your witty, unique post.

Yvonne @ Country Gardener said...

My gardening footwear of choice are Blundstone boots from the Australian Boot Company. I'm in the midst of wearing out my third pair. They are fairly waterproof when new, but once they get worn, damp feet can become a problem. I've already bought my next pair. Can't live without them.

BGgarden said...

Great Post - I am going with the crocs like my favorite designer Billy. I have had the same pair for over six years now and I swear by them!

Kari L√łnning said...

The thing about Kat's Converses is that she's comfortable in them! I prefer my slightly worn out Merrills. They let water run in and out ... and I can wash them when the mud gets too bad.

Did you see Kerry @containergarden posted a photo of purple baby crocs planted with lobelia and sedum? http://bit.ly/bqJwcw

VW said...

I squished around in soggy tennis shoes a week ago while planting in the rain and thought, I REALLY need to buy some boots! Now I just need to find some fabulously styled ones, like the ones you've pictured.

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

I wear an old pair of Doc Martins. Not the big old ones like the 'boot' boys in the 70's but the shoes. Dead confortable and steel toe capped too, just great to toe punt slugs with.

When it's hot, sandals. Especially when running around with watering cans in the evening. Can get squidgy mind, easy to spill water between the toes, not a pretty thought:) enough.

Gloria said...

I wore out some red clogs that I think I mail ordered. Just bought some Sloggers. The heavier clog- Love them. Got them in lime green. Don't think they would work for State Dinners, but I think I will wear them in the house this winter.

Garden Much said...

If nothing else sets you apart as a artiste-gardener then at least a pair of Crocs will! :) Ofcourse must of us publicly detest them but privately love them ..

d.a. said...

I wear Keens sandals for work in the garden nursery and at home during the summer months. So dang hot here that rubber boots just make things miserable.

Fern @ Life on the Balcony said...

I saw Angela in her boots at SFGS!

FNA said...

Coming in very late to the conversation, but, to answer the question of wide boots for women - find a Red Wing store. They have women's work boots (one still made in America) in widths, and sell orthotic style moldable insoles. I'm quite happy gardening with mine, along with old running shoes, and LL Bean boots when it gets real wet.

katshe said...

well everyone should be a role model in gardening because gardening is not just an ordinary activity 'cause you get benefit out of it

"Daffodil Planter" Charlotte Germane said...

Thanks all for your funniness, oh and your useful observations too!

Terra said...

I found you on Facebook and came over here to say hi, since gardening and humor are such a fun match. Your post on boots does not disappoint. Perhaps I need some? I typically wear flipflops for light gardening.

"Daffodil Planter" Charlotte Germane said...

Shocking news for the garden world: Dianne Benson is having supplier problems and her fabulous garden footwear is on final sale. Boots in Panther or Olive, shoes in Black -- last chance http://www.diannebbest.com/shoes.php so if these were on your "someday" list, make that "today".

Shawna Lee Coronado said...

Hey everyone!

I've now started selling my wacky/fun/wellie boots on my website. Would love for you to go out and take a look!

http://shawnacoronado.com/shop

Thanks!

Shawna