Buying good garden tools
A favourite garden tool of mine is a Dutch hoe that Dennis Norgate gave to me 25 years ago. Norgate used it for decades to keep his flower paddocks clean of weeds and goodness knows how many years the old Dutch gardener who passed it on to him had used it. My guess is that this tool has been constantly knocking weeds over for the best part of three quarters of a century. Half moon shaped, sharp on all its edges it has a beautifully wrought swan neck. Gliding it with a push pull action it cuts off weeds just below the soil surface. I don’t suppose I’ll ever find a hoe quite like it again but it’ll see me out and I’ll pass it onto my son when the time comes.
|Dutch hoes by Sneeboer and Zn||A gift from Dennis Norgate||sneeboer.com|
A few years ago I bought two new Dutch hoes made by Sneeboer and Zn. These hoes are designed to allow the gardener to stand up straight and hoe with a minimum of effort slices through the weeds.
Great Grandfather's Turf Lifter
Using good quality garden tools makes a huge difference to the enjoyment of gardening whether it’s digging, forking, raking or pruning. The best of them are so well made that your grandchildren will be using them fifty years from now.
My great uncle, a blacksmith, made a turf lifter for my great grandfather who was a professional gardener. My cousin Jack, the distinguished English landscape architect Dr John Glenn, still uses this tool.
Dr Glenn, who is also a garden historian, has worked on the renewal of many fine English and Scottish gardens. He used the turf lifter whilst making a parterre in the grounds of Hall Place, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.