YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Gardener's Eden

July 20, 1996|Cyndi Y. Nightengale

Need a ridger? A bull lopper, a pest blaster or a box of bat poop?

When it's unusual, hard-to-find garden tools you're after, look no further than Denman & Co. in Placentia, a store recently opened by Bob and Rita Denman.

The couple have been in the garden tool business about nine years, selling most of their products through mail order. Now they've expanded their business to include the store, which houses more than 3,000 tools.

One of the most versatile tools in the Denman's store is he hand plow ($17.50). The tool, which originated in Korea more than 2,000 years ago, is still made by Korean blacksmiths the old-fashioned way. The plow has many uses, including slicing weeds and smashing big clods of dirt.

"It's the Ginzu knife of garden tools," says Bob Denman. "It slices and dices through anything."

The Denmans not only sell tools but also repair, invent, manufacture and revamp them. "Our first product was developed after I trashed my knee motocrossing," says Denman, who designed a pair of pants with kneepads.

Knockoffs of his patented pants nearly drove him out of business. Rather than sue, the Denmans diversified, putting together a line of hand tools that are revamped with forged handles.

"When you're buying one of these tools, plan on having it for the rest of your life," Denman says.

The Denmans' store, open Tuesday through Saturday, is at 1202 E. Pine St., Placentia, (714) 524-0668.

Shabby Style

The secrets of comfortable chic, the decorating look made popular by Rachel Ashwell, are revealed in her book "Shabby Chic."

Ashwell, who defined the elegant, comfy look with furnishings she sells in her stores, takes readers step by step through flea markets to find pieces that work well with her design philosophy.

For instance, Ashwell explains how to mix furniture from Grandma's attic with sisal rugs and wicker lamps to create rooms in traditional, eclectic or contemporary homes.

"Shabby Chic" ($30, Regan Books, 197 pages) has 150 color photographs and is available in bookstores throughout the country.

Olympic Tribute

Keep the Olympic flame burning in your kitchen with Warner Bros.' commemorative cookie jar, featuring Looney Tunes U.S. Olympic Team athletes. The hand-painted ceramic cookie jar ($35), is topped with the five-ring logo and an Olympic flame lid. The cookie jar is among more than 70 products Warner Bros. has designed to celebrate the Centennial Games. The items are available at the Studio Stores at the Brea Mall and South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, or through the catalog at (800) 223-6524.

Los Angeles Times Articles