Tools of the Trade
Garden tools make great gifts for people who love flowers and plants. As you start your new landscape, you will also be starting a new collection of garden maintenance tools. The serious gardener needs serious tools—tools that work. Pick the best available. The good news is the best is not always the most expensive. Forget about big box home improvement and discount stores for tools. You’ll be tossing your money away. Shop wholesale nursery and florist suppliers as well as botanical garden gift shops. That’s where you can find tools that get the job done and can handle the work load.
I like A.M. Leonard for garden hoes, spades, and weeders. A stirrup loop push hoe and Cape Cod weeder are helpful for cultivating and clean up. A drain spade and nursery spade can open up the ground for transplants and slice a clean edge around plant beds. Everybody who works around thorny shrubs could use a pair of protective leather and suede gloves.
Forestry Suppliers, Inc. has nice hand pruners and loppers, essential for thinning and shaping shrubs. They have the best prices for seedling protectors and bamboo staking equipment, as well as a large assortment of backpack sprayers.
If your gardening friends love flowers, do a search for wholesale florist suppliers in the nearest large city. I love Halls in Atlanta. They carry floral design supplies and offer a floral design school, but you must provide certain documents to establish an account with them. These are vendors you must visit and shop face-to-face.
It’s okay to shop the local big box or discount stores for potting soils, chemicals, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers, or you can call a local landscape maintenance and work out a deal for large quantities of mulch or topsoil.
Here are the items that every genuine gardener needs—a gardener’s gift list. All you need beyond that are the bows.
• hand pruners
• large limb loppers
• a pruning saw
• a drain spade
• a nursery spade
• a garden rake
• a separate chemical-resistant sprayer for each different type of spray used
• garden hoses
• a heavy-duty garden hose nozzle with a soft spray head
• rose gloves
• a large supply of latex gloves
• a bamboo rake
• a manure fork (for breaking up soil, not that other stuff!)
• a leaf blower
• a thorn stripper
• rooting compound
• seed-starting soil mix
• peat pots
• a cold frame or covered seed tray
• garden boots and clogs
• several tarps
• a garden wagon or wheelbarrow
• a granular weed OR feed spreader
• sprinkler heads for supplemental watering during drought
• a weed cultivator
• a long-handled dandelion weeder
• a large brimmed hat (yes, you do need sun protection!)