For gardeners, it's the most promising time of year

With the welcome arrival of spring, it's time to work in the garden. From pretty planters to techy tools, we've culled a list of backyard must-haves. These products won't just show off your green thumb. They'll make your neighbors green with envy.

Waste not

The does-it-all NatureMill compost bin is the perfect product for turning your yard and kitchen scraps into fertilizer. Put waste in the top chamber, and the machine's heating and aerating process will turn it into compost in just two weeks. $359, Gardener's Supply Company.

Blooming bright

Add a bit of mod to your back yard with Jonathan Adler's Okura planter. The bright yellow hand-thrown stoneware pot will add whimsy to your garden and look fantastic with any assortment of greenery or blooms. $895, Jonathan Adler.

Mower magic

Forget pushing a lawn mower. The Robomow RS630 does it all for you. It's quiet and durable, and it even docks and charges itself with no supervision. Just schedule the mowing time and go about your business. Yard work has never been so easy. $2,499, available online only through Brookstone,, and Sears,

For the birds

This MacKenzie-Childs Taylor bird bath is sure to attract the attention of winged wildlife in your neighborhood. The handcrafted, hand-painted ceramic bath will add flair to any yard with its soothing but bright purples, greens and yellows. $490, available by special order through Neiman Marcus.

Water wise

Fake a green thumb with the Koubachi Wi-Fi plant sensor. Insert the sensor into the soil of any plant and it will do its thing, measuring moisture, evaluating light, monitoring the temperature and taking other cues to determine the best care for your greens. Sync the device with its app on your iPhone or iPad, and you will be given advice and instructions on when and how to care for your plant. $129.95, Apple.

For a rainy day

Plow & Hearth's rain barrel urn is lovely and eco-friendly. The urn collects and stores rainwater, and the hose spigot allows you to easily recycle it for watering. Add a bit of color in the self-draining planter on top, and water conservation has never looked so good. $179.95, Plow & Hearth,

Helping hands

Crabtree & Evelyn's Gardeners Soothing Hand Care Tin includes a cuticle and nail treatment, a hand recovery lotion, a hand therapy lotion, and an age-defying hand remedy. The products promise to help keep your hands soft and hydrated, no matter how much time you spend in the dirt. $35, Apple Annie's.