As a dedicated gardener, I like to make my work space outside look neat and tidy. After all, if I’m using the time and energy to make the front and back yards look attractive, I want supplies and gear out of sight.
Hence my issue with the garden hose. I’ve got really sturdy ones that don’t kink, which is cool, but trying to contain them is a pain. Right now, the hose for the front yard is sitting in a coiled pile by the front door — not my idea of nice landscaping. It used to be stored in a nice plastic box, but the winding hub inside cracked, I think, because it wasn’t strong enough to hold the weight of the hose. And, probably, because I was always cranking it pretty hard.
So, I was hesitant to look for another hideout for the hose. Then I came across Suncast’s AquaWinder, sold at Lowe’s in west Belleville for $97.97. Seems pricey to me, but then the last one I had cost about $60. It’s described as a “water-powered, auto-rewind hose reel.” I watched the video at www.suncast.com/aquawinder. Just flip a switch and the hose reels itself in, using water to wind it up. I’m not sold yet.
Also at Lowe’s are some colorful LED solar garden lights that look a bit like mutant flowers. The crackled center bulb of each light changes colors and is surrounded by petals. Each sits on a long green steel rod with faux leaves. Cost is $12.97 each in a couple colors.
Fezziwig’s Marketplace, formerly of downtown Lebanon, is now open at its new location in downtown O’Fallon, 225 W. First St. The grand opening will be July 30, but until then the gourmet tea and wine emporium is having a “soft opening,” so stop in for sampling and purchasing of teas, gourmet foods and more.
At Peace by Piece in downtown Belleville, trade in your gently-used handbags and receive $20 toward the purchase of a new bag during Bags for Wags. All the donated bags donated will be auctioned off to benefit the Belleville Area Humane Society. Trade-in takes place Monday through Thursday, with the silent auction July 17-18. Plus, check out the exclusive Luca + Stella paw-print bracelets at the boutique. Buy one for $35 and 20 percent goes to the Humane Society.
Old Time Pottery in Fairview Heights is making a big push to add more bedding to its stores. Look for packaged sets of seven- and eight-piece comforter/shams/bed skirt/decorative pillows for $45 and $65, as well as quilt sets with two shams for $29.99/$39.99. Sizes include full, queen and king at these prices.
The TOCO Shop at 825 W. Main in MidTown Belleville now has its second floor stocked and named Holiday Land. Think of it as a year-round holiday store within a store. You’ll find new and gently used items for Christmas to Halloween and beyond, including vintage decor, ornaments, decorations, lights, garlands, figurines, accents and more.
If you have to have a wine glass for you vino when you’re outside, consider the ones from Dollar Tree in west Belleville in the Target shopping center. A plastic wine glass sealed inside a clear tumbler with a snap-on lid comes in four colors and just a buck. Look for them at the front of the store on the left.
I popped into Maurice’s in the same shopping center and spied some very pretty crinkle tank/camisoles in a variety of soft colors. They had lace trim for peeking out under a hem or neckline and adjustable straps. Cost: Buy one for $20 and get half off the second.
If you’ve never visited Cato in east Belleville in the Walmart shopping center, check it out. The shop sells misses and plus sizes and has a really nice selection of this season’s long skirts for $22. I liked what I saw because they weren’t too flowy and came in really great patterns, from geometric to paisley.