In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here are a few beautiful Irish Gardens for Inspiration:
Here are my top six must have garden tools, even for the weekend gardener. Investing in these six items will provide you with tools that will last you for years.
Fig. 1 – Felco Pruners.
These are indispensable for any gardener. Use these for pruning, deadheading and cutting fresh flowers. You will use this tool everyday in the garden. I have No. 11, designed for those who prune a lot, but there are many options out there so look for the one that is best for you. You HomeDepot.com stocks Felco pruners (online only), and while you are there I recommend picking up a holder to store your pruners when not in use.
Fig. 2 – Blundstone Boots.
These are my go to gardening boots. Good for both men and women, these boots are great for the up and down in the garden, easy to get on and off and after some wear, mold perfectly to your foot for ultimate comfort. Note these are not waterproof, so on really muddy days you might want to break out your Hunters. To order Blundstone boots in the US, contact our friends at Rose Bredl.
Fig. 3 – AM Leonard, Weeding Knife/Soil Knife.
Another great all around tool in the garden is the weeding knife. This allows you to break up soil and root bound plants, divide plants and pop out weeds. This also works as a general knife when needing help cutting jute or opening bags of soil and mulch. I have had my AM Leonard Soil Knife for 7 years and is still in great shape.
Fig. 4 – Coppertone ultraGuard SPF 30.
During the summers I spend the majority of my day outside, so I make sure I have a large stock of sunscreen on hand at all times. I like the Coppertone ultraGuard because it does not melt in the hot heat or humidity and does not feel like you are caked in lotion.
Fig. 5 – King of All Spades Nursery Spade.
This spade is great for all jobs from digging out a tree down to making a new garden bed. Sturdy and sharp, this spade is worth the small investment. You can pick one up at AM Leonard with your weeding knife.
Fig. 6 – Weed Bucket.
Perfect for collecting dead heads, weeds, transporting soil or compost, these buckets can be used for many different uses. The colorful buckets found at most nurserys and garden centers can help make a weeding chore more cheerful. I also reuse the plastic tubs from transplanted trees, which is good when they cannot be recyled.
While planning for summer veggie gardens, I came across these nice garden box kits at Scout Regalia. These boxes are great for anyone that wants a veggie garden, but does not have the yard space to dedicate. You can use these on a back deck/patio and store away during the winter months. Also the powder coated brackets provide a nice pop of color while you wait for your veggies to take off. I plan on ordering one to try out and will let you know what I think. (price $95, plus shipping and lumber)
Last summer for our veggie garden we used galvanized feed containers. These worked great for growing large tomato plants, and lettuce, peppers and strawberries. These containers also helped to provide the plants with plenty root growth room and kept me off my knees while tending to the plants. The only draw backs are the containers are large to store over the winter and if filled completely with soil can get heavy. (Price $75-$100 depending on size of container + $35 in good light weight soil and compost).