Recently Erin at The Impatient Gardener wrote a great series of posts detailing her garden tools and what styles and brands she uses for a number of different tasks like weeding and watering. I thought it was very helpful to see what other gardening women use for specific jobs. So helpful, in fact, I decided I would do something similar.
As I came back to the house after a long day of planting, dividing, pruning, watering and whatnot, I took a look at the wheelbarrow that I used to haul things from the garage to the back garden. As you can see below it was filled with the most mixed up and messy mass of tools anyone could imagine. Mark more or less dared me to show you what my tools really look like.
Truthfully, this is pretty much how my tools look as the season progresses. Big things get put away where they belong after use, but everything else gets dropped into the wheelbarrow just in case I might need it next time. If you look closely you will see a nice tool carrier with all kinds of pockets sitting in the middle of everything. I start the season with everything in place in that carrier and all the oddments in a cabinet in the garage.
But by September, I am hauling around one fabulous and flexible Gertrude Jekyll weeding basket (upside down on top of everything), at least one contractor's garbage bag to dump the baskets of clippings into, a drop cloth, a big rubber kneeling pad. There's also my smaller shovel and a child's rake for pulling mulch away from plants in a tight spot where I want to squeeze in more plants (!). On the day last week that I took this picture there were also 5 bottles of water with varying amounts of sustenance remaining in them, 7 pairs of gloves including one pair of leather ones, 1 odd hot pink rubber glove and 3 latex gloves (good for weeding moss).
There were 8 plastic containers from the plants I had most recently put in, plus the box my bare-root peony had arrived in. Floating in this sea of small tools are the many tags that identify all these plants as well as markers to put in the ground to remind me where I intend to put a particular plant. I decided I would not bother to count how many hand trowels, knives, and assorted clippers might be in the mix.
There's also a spray bottle of Lysol that I use to disinfect shears after each cut on a woody plant (so I don't accidentally transfer disease) and a spray bottle of Safer Insecticidal soap. I mention these last two items so it appears that I actually know what I am doing when I take off to garden.
Once I begin to clean up the garden — and the tools — for winter, I will do some posts about the much more restrained list of tools I actually reach for again and again despite what this post suggests otherwise.