Saturday, April 30, 2011

I Grow Old ... I Grow Old ... My Fav Garden Tools

Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old ... I grow old ...
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
         -- T.S. Eliot - The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

The idea for this post came to me this morning when I was digging out bermuda grass with a spading fork because it is easier on an aging back than a grubbing hoe which requires some bending and pulling that is quite uncomfortable compared to pushing and levering. I rarely use a regular hoe and was reminded of that when I read (a blog) that mentioned our favorite garden tools.

A regular hoe and a rake require a repetitive motion that is hard on the shoulders. My rotator cuffs are intact and I try to keep them that way having endured a spouse who had the surgery. Neither time was a picnic for the patient nor the nurse.

The part about rolling the bottoms of the trousers: We were replacing the polycarb panels that blew out in a recent storm. DH kept pulling up his britches legs as he went up the ladder. I finally reached up and ROLLED them so he didn't trip.

If there is just a flat of plants and a trowel and bulb planter (I use a bulb planter to make little holes for tiny transplants.) I use a little green wagon. If I'm sifting and hauling compost I use a wheelbarrow. 

My little green wagon loaded with favs: metal watering can,
trenching spade, spading fork, bulb planter and short hand rake.

My favorite shovel is a trenching spade with a long slender blade.

My favorite watering can is galvanized metal. Plastic watering cans here have turned into dog toys.

I have an assortment of pruning shears from tiny nippers to heavy-duty loppers with a gear mechanism that makes cutting through limbs and small saplings easy. In a pinch, I can operate an electric chain saw.

I read a blog the other day where the gardener said cheap tools were good enough. I buy good quality tools. I bought a cheap rake last year. As soon as I got it home I realized why the other brand was twice the price. It was twice the rake and I exchanged for a good rake. Even a seldom-used rake needs to be sturdy.

The best garden tool is the computer. Take frequent breaks when the weather is hot. I get some iced tea and read a few garden blogs or work on my own.

Give the video a moment to load, please.
On an extreme day, I enlist the help of He-Who-Mows who has an solution for my every problem.


  1. Your wagon looks very handy! I have a big wheelbarrow with two bicycle tire wheels that I use constantly. I use medium cheap tools and rarely rake. We just mow our leaves. Maybe when I'm not feeding teenagers I can upgrade to better tools!

  2. Love the wagon. I need to get me one. I have a wheelbarrow, but I think a wagon might be better. It's hard to load a wheelbarrow up with stuff other than soil or rocks.

  3. The title caught my eye! I have been rolling my pants because of early morning dew!

    As I grew older I realized the importance of buying good tools...I just need to buy a better set of hand pruners...I am thinking Felco.

    I have two sets and they both lock shut after use....and I have to literally open them. what a nuisance

    I would have to add to your list my garden shears/scissors and roll of jute twine that I carry to tie up various things.

  4. I love the wagon idea. I use the wheelbarrow sometimes in a similar fashion--just throw everything in it. But I want one of those tools in the video! A bulldozer would be the coolest gardening tool ever.

  5. You won my admiration by telling us that you operate a chain saw. I don't even operate a lawn mower....being the princess that I am! ha-ha Neither is the snowblower on my list of tools.

    There was a day when bending over to work in the garden was easy. Then I progressed to kneeling. Now I have to sit....on my padded cushion. Next I'll be crawling around the yard on my belly.

    I like your green wagon.


  6. I love your little wagon. My favorite shovel is also the trench digging shovel. I have galvanized metal watering cans too, and nice clippers, and a great hard rake and a nice leaf rake. Good tools are so worth it.

    I always roll up my pants legs, it's cooler having my ankles and a little leg bared.

    I have to enlist DH's help more these days, as things are just too heavy for my back, shoulders, arms, knees, you get the picture.

    Drinking plenty of water and taking breaks is a prerequisite down here that's for sure.

    Happy Gardening Nell and let's continue to age as gracefully as we possibly can.

    Hugs ~ FlowerLady

  7. Thanks for the laugh! I've been feeling a big ridiculous, the fool, lately because I look such a mess! It seems I look the part of a gardener even when I'm not gardening - I think I'm growing old! Anyway, love your wagon! Good tools are getting harder and harder to find. Frequent breaks are definitely a must!

  8. I use a wheelbarrow to get my implements of destruction (I mean construction) around the garden. I read of someone who places mailboxes in different parts of her garden with her secateurs, twine, hand spade and whatever else is handy.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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