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My friend and I stopped in at English Gardens the other day to shop for gifts on her hard-to-buy-for list.  Like her, some of the most challenging people on your holiday gift list may be a friends or family members who have down-sized to a condo or an apartment where storage space is at a premium.

My first thought was a hose. Don’t laugh: Hoses are a staple for most folks and dealing with a tangled mess of kinking plastic tubing is a nightmare, so I wanted to show my friend what new technology is available. 

Anyone whose gardening is limited to a patio or porch would love the Italian made Fitt Flow (www.fitt-usa.com) expandable ½-inch, 60-foot medium duty patio hose that comes with a separate multi-pattern nozzle packed in a stylish water proof storage bag. This perky bright red hose is made of six layers of a lightweight flexible hybrid polymer that is 3 times lighter than others its size. The permanent cylindrical shaping makes kink-free handling and stowing a snap.  The connectors on the hose and hand nozzle are heavy duty corrosion free metal and the hose carries a five-year warranty. It easily fits in a cute little basket for outdoor storage in summer or can be kept in its snappy carrying  bag that measures just 6 1/2 inches wide by 12 inches long by 9 inches high. The materials used in manufacturing are toxin free and safe for pets and kids as well as flowers.  

The Fitt Flow isn’t just for gardeners. The nozzle has a jet stream adjustment for hosing down a walkway and the spray pattern is good for washing the car, filling the bird bath and cleaning outdoor furniture.  This hose is also great for use on a boat or an RV. 

For serious gardeners and those who care for larger landscapes, the Zero-G flexible hose (www.apexhose.com) that comes in 50, 75 and 100-foot lengths is a perfect choice. It’s 50% lighter than standard garden hoses and is easy to coil and maneuver in the garden. 

The G-Force woven fiber high density outer jacket resists leaks, abrasions and punctures and glides smoothly hard surfaces without snagging or tearing. The flexible inner core helps prevent kinking and makes coiling and storing easy. The couplings are made of  commercial grade, ergonomic aluminum with brass inserts to prevent corrosion at the faucet and are lead-free for drinking.

My friend loved my suggestions and bought both for herself.

Nancy Szerlag is a master gardener and Metro Detroit freelance writer. Her column appears Fridays in Homestyle. To ask her a question go to Yardener.com and click on Ask Nancy. You can also read her previous columns at detroitnewscom/homestyle.

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