Gear up for pruning season with these four indispensable aids

Julie Chai

Synthetic suede gloves protect hands and forearms while you're pruning thorny roses. Unlike their leather cousins, they're lightweight and flexible. $30. www.westcountygardener.com or 800/475-0567.

A canvas gardening belt comes equipped with plenty of pockets and loops for hand tools, and it's available in several patterns and colors. Dry cleaning recommended. $65. www.hableconstruction.com or 877/422-5304.

PowerGear Bypass Loppers are lightweight and capable of pruning limbs up to 11/2 inches in diameter―like a hot knife through butter. Available in three sizes; medium ($36) is pictured. www.fiskars.com or 800/500-4849.

Shea butter hand cream, an ultra-rich formula, comes in four scents and pampers hardworking hands without being greasy. $15 for a 4-oz. jar. www.pharmacopia.net or 877/389-9898.

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