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in Tools and techniques
Ive been gardening for more years than i care to rememer and ive seen a lot of changes both in people and how they talk to each other ie via www and the dreaded mobile phone glued to their ears,
Ive stood back and seen how nasty people can be to those theyv'e never and will never meet,via these methods of talking gardening.
And all through this period of my life ive had one of the best pass times to keep me sane and with this thought in mind i cant help but look at the tools ive had for years and still use today as i garden and enjoy the same old tunes song by the birds as i work (if you can call it work) !
The tools ive used and looked after almost jump to hand as i need them "like the fork i bought knew over 30 years ago and still is a much used tool and loved one,
One of the more used tools is a kneeling framed tool ideal for weeding or sowing and this more modern tool is well used and very simply made.
But i see time & time again on the car -boot sales (brocante's here in france) tools for sale that i feel didnt make the grade such as metal bulb planters that grab the soil while you drop the bulb in the ready made hole, umpteen cheap rotovators, (ive had my own howard gem for over 30 years and its still used regulary)
Whats your most loved tool and the one you wished you'd not bought?
The worst tool I bought was a medium sized (about 2 feet high, cylindrical) spray container for spraying weeds. The strap (just one) went over the shoulder and was attached to the bottle with two split rings.
I filled it and slung it over my shoulder. One of the split rings straightened under the weight, and the full bottle came down behind me and hit me on the calf, bruising it. If it had fallen at the front on my foot it would have broken it.
After that I tried another one (different make) and tied the straps as well as whatever clips it had. In the end I bought a magnificent backpack sprayer with pump handle attached. It's ergonomically much better, and works brilliantly.
I think the best garden tools are English and the best secateurs are Swiss.
The worst fork I ever bought was French, from my local GC. It had a horrid long wooden handle, just straight with no formed end and wide tines. It was heavy, clumsy, woouldn't enter the ground properly and the handle snapped after not very long. It was some years ago when you couldn't buy English style garden forks here.
I love my little stainless steel hand fork, but one tine is bent and now the GC here doesn't sell them any more, for a while they sold "made in England" ones. I'll have to get one in England in September.
My hand trowel and fork - my Mum bought them for me, so they are now both sentimental and useful. And recent, but very useful, addition is a tiny pair of secateurs/snips which i keep by the front door for impromptu deadheading sprees
Best tool in the box my husband for mowing the lawn......
Worst tool in the box... My husband for everything else......
I have a pair of folding secateurs which I put in my pocket when riding my horse along overgrown bridleways. I just get him to stand still at brambly bits and do some horseback pruning! It's amazing what a difference it makes being about 9ft off the ground!
Best tools my Felco secateurs and my Japanese razor hoe (small hand tool). Worst thing I've bought, a weed and feed spreader which is useless.
Worst thing ever bought were those spiky thing you strapped over your shoes to aerate the lawn as you walked up and down,OH put them on whilst standing on the grass and could,nt move an inch.Needed rescuing which I did as soon as I finished laughing.
My best tool is a stainless steel wooden handled hand trowel I picked-up from wilkos many years ago. Next best is a border fork and spade set - also stainless steel. Those three get more use than anything else by far. Worst are all in a drawer I rarely open and are mostly gifts from well-meaning friends and family - cheap secateurs and hand forks (never found a use for one!)
No contest! About 35yrs ago I received a Mothering Sunday gift from my daughter. I believe the official name for it is a daisy grubber It is in constant use as a weeder, planter etc but to me it will always be known as Rachel's tool
My mattock. If you need a mattock for something, nothing else will do.
I agree, a mattock is hard to beat in a crisis.
That makes me think "with a mattock in the library"!
I never did get the hang of Cluedo. I would like to experiment "with a flamethrower in the bramble bush" if you're creating a gardening version ...
You must read Maud is in the Garden's account of spiky shoes on the thread called:
Can anyone recommend a good electric hedge clipper - preferably below £100.
My B&D (GT545) was great for several years until the motor burnt out today. I'm not sure whether to pet it repaired of replaced.
My best tool bought nearly 10 years ago now. A pair of extendible ratchet loppers designed by women for women. In that time have oiled maybe a couple of times and tightened one screw.
Worst tool a hand trowel designed for "alpine gardening" liked the fact that it was long and narrow...bent the first time I put it in the ground!