At this time of year our shed has to double up as a wood store, so it’s more than usually cluttered with logs and random bits of wood gathered on walks adding to the usual assortment of gardening paraphernalia. I’ve just been fighting my way through the debris to collect some kindling for tonight’s fire and it got me wondering – if I had to make some hard choices and narrow my gardening kit down to just 10 essential items, what would they be? Actually, it turned out that it wasn’t that difficult to whittle it down, the following are the tools I use almost every time I go out gardening:
Gloves (after year’s of experimentation and getting through gloves on an almost weekly basis in the summer, Town and Country Comfort Fit Premium leather gloves have emerged as my all-time favourites) http://www.townandco.com/
Hand fork – short-handled, too old for me to recall where it came from (I also have a long handled one by Burgon & Ball, www.burgonandball.com/ )
Trowel – as above
Secateurs (Felco, naturally; and even though I’m a south-paw, the right-handed ones work just fine for me) www.felco.com/
Kneeler – I’ve heard too many gruesome accounts of knee-replacement operations. My gloriously comfortable, gardening-themed one came from a National Trust shop.
Ladies fork – a nice light one ( digging shouldn’t have to be any harder than it is already)
Ladies spade – ditto
Loppers – although anvil secateurs are considered inferior to bypass ones , I don’t think the same prejudice holds true for loppers and my loppers (or ‘chunkers’ in our family parlance) are from Wilkinson Sword. http://wilkinsonsword-tools.co.uk/
Carborundum stone – my tools are the sharpest in the box!
A canvas Gardener’s Pail by the Carrier Company for carrying tools around as I work – its predecessor was a rather nice wicker basket that I was given years ago with useful compartments and trays but this finally disintegrated; its final act was to provide kindling for our wood burner. http://carriercompany.co.uk/
And if I’m allowed, I’d squeeze in three more to make it a baker’s (gardener’s?) dozen:
Tub trug – useful receptacle for weeds, prunings etc http://tubtrugs.com/
Pruning saw – I do love a bit of pruning, and always look forward to the task of pruning apples and pears in the new year
String – the gardener’s friend, I like the coloured twines from Nutscene (especially the orange and purple) . http://www.nutscene.com/