Category Archives: Garden Tools


It’s been a glorious weekend here.

70 degree days

Lots of sunshine.

We are told tomorrow

Will be another story.

This on again off again weather

Has given me the chance to do

Some important fall chores.

So let’s just call this

The weekend of shoveling.

On Saturday I purchased

15 – 40 pound bags of manure

That’s 600 pounds!

I’ve developed a great system

Have it loaded into the back of my SUV

At the store.

When I get home

I just wheel the wheelbarrow

Up to the back of the car.

Split the bag open

And slip it into the wheelbarrow.

I never have to lift one of those big bags.

Then I just shovel 4 – 5 shovels full

Onto each Rose, Hydrangea and Hosta

In my garden.

It does two things.

Provides winter protection.

Serves as a slow fertilizer

Come Spring.

It also makes you a little tired

And sore.

You also may find

A few more Easter Eggs.


But by Sunday afternoon

I’d recovered enough

To attack the compost pile.

All those leaves, garden clippings and food scraps

Turn into a rich garden amendment

By fall.


So I got out my handy little shovel

And scooped it into my wheelbarrow

Spreading it onto the garden.

I got about 1/4th of it done today.

There is still more shovel time

In my future.

Having the right equipment

Makes chores like this

A lot easier.

Years ago John gave me this little shovel.

For Mother’s Day.


Last summer he snapped the handle

On the original.

He quickly replaced it.

A small shovel is a real help

For a gardener’s back.

I did have a friend to help me

With all the shoveling.

This giant praying mantis reappeared.


I first met it a few weeks ago

When it landed on my dahlias.


Now it seems to be scurrying around

Looking for a place to hide out

For the winter.

This is not the glamorous side of gardening.

It doesn’t make for lots of

Pretty pictures.

But digging in the earth

Playing in the dirt

Is the beginning of any garden

And perhaps a new gardener.

Photo credit Kristina WynnePhoto credit Kristina Wynne


P.S.  Thank you to everyone who has kindly mentioned the Oklahoma Gardening video of my garden house.  My favorite comment was from my friend Kay…”I’ve never seen it so clean.”  How true that is!



Filed under Children in the Garden, Compost, Dahlias, End of Season Rituals, Fall, Garden Tools, Grandchildren, Hosta, Hydrangea, Oklahoma Gardening, Praying Mantis, roses, Shovel, Uncategorized


Over the years I have tried a variety of gardening tools.

I’ve narrowed it down

To what actually works

For me.

So, I thought I’d share my favorites.

Now…I realized  that like everything else in life.

What works for me

May not work for you.

But this tool conversation has to start somewhere

And this seems the logical place.

First, let’s talk about what I don’t like

And get that out-of-the-way.

I don’t like what I call “cutesy” gardening things.

You know – trowels with flowers and bugs and frogs painted on them.

Not only are they too cute,

They just don’t stand the test of time.

No…I go to the other end of the spectrum.

Some off my garden tools look more like

Well…midieval weapons.

Take my very favorite

The Korean Hand Plow

Or its common name the E-Z digger.

I once gave these to all my gardening relatives for Christmas.

You can imagine what it was like going through airport security!!!

But they are to my way of thinking, the most logical piece of gardening equipment.

And they are ergonomically efficient.

Saving strain on the shoulder and elbow.

I use it for weeding, working up the soil and digging holes for seeds and plants.

I once lost one for months.

Only to have it fall out of the composter after a good spin.

It was really rusty, but still works.

If you can only have one tool.

This is it.

Next would be pruners.

I’ve tried them all

And lost them all.

Felco is the gold standard here.

A number 6 or 7 is sized for the average woman’s hand.

But as it happens I didn’t really like my #7 Felcos

So when they disappeared into the late summer garden

Never to resurface

I replaced them with Okatsume Pruners

Which I found at, of all places, Amazon!

I’ve managed to keep them now for several years.

The bright orange handles help me locate them in a sea of growth.

To keep them sharp I use this handy little pruner sharpener I discovered a dozen years ago.

And rakes – gotta have them.

I have 2 favorites.

A small hand rake.

Oh so handy when I’m on the ground cleaning out under

Hydrangeas, overgrown well…everything this time of year, rose bushes, etc.

You get the idea.

Then there is this handy little expandable rake.

It goes from very small to a regular size.

And everything in between.

Which means you can make it work for just about any job.

Now, so as not to frustrate you I think it best to tell you where to find all of this.

Normally, I’m a locavore when it comes to shopping

But since for some reason many of these are not carried in garden centers

I think I will give you websites.

Kinsman at is a gold mine of really good gardening tools and supplies.

There you will find the Korean Hand Plow, the pruner sharpening kit and the hand rake.

The bigger rake is found at garden centers and hardware store.

Another quality online source is Lee Valley Tools at

So, that’s the beginning of my tool story.

We’ll talk of others again soon.

As I see people around town many ask if I have any flowers left

After the heat.

So here’s the answer


Another great tool…

Drip irrigation

It saves me every year.

Enjoy the week.




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Filed under E-Z Digger, Garden Tools, Hand Rake, Korean Hand Plow, Pruner sharpening kit, Pruners, Rake, Uncategorized