My Landscape Garden Essentials
I'm strictly a landscape gardener, and if you're thinking about starting a flower bed or two, there are a few essentials you may want to consider. I'm sharing my list of everyday garden essentials, and many of these essentials crossover to vegetable gardeners as well. See the complete list, with link sources provided, at my blog link.
If you plan on going for a full-scale, landscape garden on your property this year, these will be items that may come in handy after the heavy duty digging and planting is complete.
My number one garden essential, hands down, is a good pair of gloves. Although there are plenty of options and price points out there to choose from (the photo above was taken in a small town hardware store), I prefer a good grip kind, such as these, for most of my work in the garden. The rubber palm and breathable, nylon topside are a winning combination, providing good water, chemical and dirt coverage for fingertips, yet flexible enough for handling seedlings. Use leather gloves when working in thorns for an impenetrable choice.
A pair of snips takes care of handling most dead-heading through the garden, and these are inexpensively found (less than $15 for a decent pair) at your garden or hardware store. This pair has a safety catch for keeping the blades together when not in use. Frugal option: go to the Dollar Tree and purchase (when in stock, early in season) or a pair of scissors and/or knife! Cadillac option: Felco No. 2 pruners will allow pruning up to 1" thick branches.
Next on my list of garden essentials are good, basic hand tools. By all means, go straight to your nearest estate sale, and make a beeline for the garage. You're likely to find a whole host of hand tools at $1 or less for each! A spade, trowel, weeder, hand cultivator - all of these are good to have for various tasks. And don't worry about the rust - rid the rust with Evapo Rust - available at Advance Auto, Lowe's, or Amazon. Spraying WD-40 and scrubbing with a Scotch-Brite sponge can also work to rid rust on hand tools. Prevention is the best medicine - clean, dry and store your hand tools after each use.
What's all that work in the garden for if you can't share it and enjoy the show? Focusing on a playground for the birds, I've come to find a low-to-the-ground, sturdy concrete bird bath as a garden essential - a $30 purchase at my local Feed and Seed store. I have several birdbaths throughout my garden, but have found my bird visitors love that first one I ever bought the most. It's nestled among plants that grow tall, and beside a tree and trellis. There's always a watering can of fresh water to top it off. Be sure to clean your birdbath, essential to attracting and keeping the birds coming.
Lastly, to finish off my list of favorite garden essentials, it's my Poison Ivy Soap. In the long list of protective garden arsenal, I think my poison ivy soap deserves a mention here. That's not to say that sunscreen and hand lotion aren't high on the list, but if you've ever had poison ivy, you can empathize. I use this soap, faithfully, immediately after being in the garden, from my hands to elbows and feet to knees.
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