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When walking out to the gardens, I take a different bucket of tools each time. In the beginning, there are 5 main things I carry. A good shovel, a broom rake, pruning shears, a hori hori knife and my favorite of all, my nejiri gama hoe. You can find this little tool at www.gardenshoponline.com and it’s a “nejiri gama hoe 18”-Kusakichi brand. It is sharp, well balanced with a laminated steel blade and beech wood handle for $18.00. I have purchased many of these little gems….using up many and gifting many. One was gifted to me years ago and I ALWAYS carry one of these with me. If you have a gardener friend that you adore, this little tool lets them know how special they truly are.

The next bucket of tools I take out are my pruning saw and hand pruner and a large limb pruner. After all the cleanup is finished, it will be time for planting. My hori hori knife, hand spade, push hoe. Everyone has a favorite. I must however talk a little about shovels. If you want a real shovel…one that will do a marvelous job and ease your amount of work, do your homework. There are 2 basic designs of garden shovels. Now take note, there are the kind with the metal folded back where you would step on it (shoulders)…you DON’T want that one. Get the one without the shoulder. And don’t get the largest  or smallest sizes available. Get the medium size because of the load you will be lifting. Trust me; you’ll be glad you did. There is something so different about the feel and efficiency of these shovels. If you notice a farmer irrigating or setting corrugates, check out what they are using. These guys know their equipment. I love my stirrup hoe…you can get weeds coming AND going, and for planting my potatoes, my pointed hoe is a must have.

Purchase heavy duty tools that are designed to last a long time. I have a hand sickle that is used for harvesting lavender. After wearing out several pair of heavy duty scissors, I knew there had to be something better out there. It’s easy to grab a handful of lavender, swipe and with about 5 swipes, you can harvest a huge plant. HOWEVER, last year, I came upon a wonderful tool. It used to take 2 to 3 days to shape my lavender for winter. After watching landscapers at work, a little light went on in my head and I went to a local Stihl store and purchased a hedger. It only took 1 hour to shape and prep my lavender.

One last favorite of mine is an adjustable water wand. I need the capacity to mist, soak, spray and power wash. Moss’ carries adorable colorful soaking wands for the planters and smaller garden spaces.   Their colorful handles make them easy to find if you set them down. Our tools all travel on their own once in a while, so it’s a good idea to have some color to them. I’m still searching for a heavy duty pair of scissors –gray handles….

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