Chicago Gardeners: Dirty Fingernails Photo Contest

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If you’re a gardener you probably look at a lot of books and magazines with hand models who have perfectly manicured nails holding tools, plants, seedlings or produce. If you’re anything like me you probably laugh at such ridiculousness. Anyone who spends time in a garden, no matter how small, knows that dirty nails come with the territory.

This year my nails aren’t as bad because I’ve been using a pair of garden gloves I was given to test. It is crazy how many companies have tried to give me garden gloves this year. I guess pictures on my garden blogs of my dirty fingernails have elicited sympathy or something.

I’ve even got extra pairs of gloves that I can’t use and that’s where you come in. 

This spring a number of garden bloggers from across the country visited Chicago to tour some gardens and socialize. We had a gift bag that included garden gloves from Ethel Gloves. I ended up with two pairs in my gift bag after someone left a set behind. They’re stylish garden gloves for women and because I’m a guy I don’t wear them. Ethel Gloves was recently on VOGUE’s Most-Wanted Summer Wardrobe Essentials for the Country  (number 6) list. Since I don’t know any women in my personal life who are interested in gardening they’ve been sitting around…now they’re up for grabs to two readers of Chicago Garden.


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The Rules:

1. This contest is open to home gardeners (male or female) in the Chicago area. To make delivery or mailing of these gloves easy for me: I’m defining the Chicago area as the City of Chicago and suburbs that have an L stop on either the Pink, Blue, Yellow or Purple Line.

2. Take a picture (or make a video) of your hands in your garden to illustrate what the hands of a real gardener look like.

3. Upload your picture to the Chicago Gardeners Flickr pool.

4. Put the link to your picture in the Chicago Gardeners Flickr group in the comments of this post. Do not Email me your picture, do not Email me a link to your picture. Do not put the link in the comments of another post. Put the link to your picture in the comments of this post. My inbox is a hot mess and your entry will most likely be overlooked if you send it directly to me. If you made a video in your garden add the link to it in the comments of this post.

5. The deadline for entries is September 7, 2009. Myself and two judges of my choosing will pick two winners based on: basic photo skills (sharpness, clarity) and how grody your nails look after you’ve spent time in your garden (indoor, outdoor, fire escape, porch, deck or rooftop), planting, digging, pulling weeds or doing any other garden chore.

The two pairs of gloves that I’m parting with are size M. You don’t have to be a woman to win them, if you’re a man who likes to wear women’s garden gloves…I won’t judge you for what you like to do in the privacy of your own garden. Ethel Gloves has provided no compensation for this contest and this contest is not sponsored by them. One entry per household. Remember, you are submitting a photo of your hands. Do not submit a photos on behalf of your wife, cousin, kids, neighbor, co-worker, baby momma or Mayor Daley. They should submit their own. I reserve the right to ask you to wash your hands if we should ever meet and have to shake hands or disqualify people found not following the spirit of the contest. Have fun with this.


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  • Do dirty feet count? (see the pool)

  • In reply to naxn:

    LOL, no. But I can relate. I am known to garden in flip flops. If your fingernails look anything like the feet do, then it is safe to say you're in the lead for one of the pairs.

  • I actually saw some Ethel gloves in a store the other day! There's one lady (and I mean lady, not woman) in our gardening group who always has perfectly manicured RED fingernails, so she immediately lost any credibility with me as actually being a gardener. (She does roses and I think her hubby does the heavy lifting. I'm proud to say I do my own. Even when I was married, he was of no help!) Um, oh, hi.

  • In reply to gardenfaerie:

    Now, that you mention it...since May I saw some in a store too and I can't remember where it was. Damn, this is going to drive me nuts. I think getting someone else to do the heavy lifting, unless required by medical condition, is really just cheating.

  • In reply to gardenfaerie:

    Well, there's a dirtier shot, but I'll go with pathetic and artistic.

  • In reply to naxn:

    LOL, good entry.

  • In reply to naxn:

    I still like my Atlas gloves the best, but I wore my new Ethel gloves yesterday, and they are really comfortable, and really pretty - definitely prettier than Atlas gloves. I have no dirty fingernail photos since I'm rarely without gloves when gardening anymore. I can hardly believe I'm so picky about wearing them. I NEVER wore gloves (or shoes) when gardening until the last couple of years. I still like to be barefooted though - makes me feel 'grounded.' ;)

  • In reply to naxn:

    Xan, since you were the only entry, YOU WIN! I'll give you both pairs for your effort. Sorry for the late reply but I've been under the weather and not thinking straight.

  • In reply to naxn:

    Great entry. My gardening gloves are always losing their fingers, and I just keep wearing them anyway.

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