Where were rose gloves when I was a young apprentice gardener? My father, a serious rose enthusiast, taught me how to prune roses … and I hated it. He seemed to think gloves were for wimps—either that or he didn’t know they existed!—so I came back from every pruning session looking like I’d been in battle with a ferocious feline.
Not anymore. I now keep a pair of rose gloves in my gardening tool kit. I use them not only when I have to prune, plant or move roses, but also when I have to handle any kind of prickly or scratchy plant: cactus, barberries, raspberries, etc. Suddenly, pulling thistles is not something I have to cringe before doing!
Likewise, I use them if I have to handle any plant with irritating sap, although I’d have to seriously consider tossing any gloves I’d used to handle poison ivy or poison sumac.
What Are They?
Rose gloves are long-sleeved gloves that give extra protection to the forearm. The best ones reach right to the elbow. There are several brands made of different materials (although leather seems the most popular choice), but all are puncture-resistant and most have padded palms or reinforced fingertips. I’m not saying you should grab a cactus and squeeze hard, but they really do reduce blood loss in the garden.
You’ll find rose gloves in most garden centers and there’s a huge choice of them on the Internet!
With Christmas coming up, they might make a good gift choice for a gardening friend!