A guest post by creative garden designer and writer Catharine Howard.
I went down to the tool shed to choose spades and hoe etc. Kersplat, the morning evaporated. Confronting me was a mess of coated mud and sad rusting blades and tines. Really good garden secateurs, forks and so on are like your old friends. You know them so well that they get taken for granted. Depended on heavily but so familiar that you don’t check that they are in best health and you may forget to nurture.
I was staring into the face of blatant neglect, a season long. That’s why I have spent the last several hours with wire wool nibbling away at the rust and the oil and rag to hone three faithful garden implements.
Now the trio are ready for photo shoot and to be presented to The Gardening Tool Shed blog. Next, the bad one is called a ditching spade, and it is heavy and not a looker. My least favored shade of maroon too. The use of this implement is to bite deep into the soil. For waging war on bramble roots or long-rooted ruderal weeds, it is the unequaled. A truly useful beast.
The ugly? Ugly as far as any small weeds go. This is a hoe called a swoe (a three-edged hoe) and it is light and glides in the vegetable patch or perennial border to nip out the weed seedlings. No tool shed is complete without one. Of the three, along with my secateurs and car keys, I feel anxious if I cannot lay my hands on it.