Monday, November 19, 2007

Rake's progress

My desert-island garden tool - the one I'd never be without - is of course my pair of Felco secateurs, which don't often see the toolshed as they're almost always in my back pocket.

A close second, though, has to be my bamboo spring-tined lawn rake. Now, you'd have thought a spring-tined rake with a wooden head has to be in the same category as the chocolate teapot in the ideas stakes - but actually it works beautifully.

It's not as rough as a metal spring-tined rake, so you can collect leaves from lawns without actually pulling up the lawn itself while you're at it. And you can use the flexible bamboo hooks on the ends of the tines to tease leaves out of the crowns of shrubs, where otherwise they'd form a noxious rotting mess by spring, without actually damaging the shrubs themselves at all. Plastic ones come close for effectiveness, but quite apart from the aesthetics - I do hate plastic garden tools - I've never found one that doesn't crack after a few seasons' use. Yet my humble wooden one is still going strong after seven years of hard labour.

I was given mine, and have since found that none of the main manufacturers in the UK make them - the honourable exception being JB Bentley's Traditional Tool range. I have to say though mine is a bit better looking - you can see a pic of one just like it here. It may look a bit retro, but it really is the biz.


Miranda Bell said...

What a great blog - and some great information too! Since starting mine - am based in N. Brittany, France I've been looking out for other people's as it's always good having contacts with people doing similar things... I also work as a gardener here - doing a mix of gardening, and garden design and some writing too which I really enjoy...Gardening in France where we live is so similar to the south of England - occasionally we have warmer weather and at times much colder - who knows what this year will bring after the weather we've had this summer! Keep in touch - Miranda

The Constant Gardener said...

Great to hear from you Miranda! Funnily enough my mother used to live in Brittany... near Pontivy, which I'd imagine is further south than you. I loved your blog too - northern French gardens and British gardens aren't that different in the end, are they?
best wishes and keep on gardening,
Sally (The Constant Gardener)

Miranda Bell said...

Pontivy is about 1hr from us - infact we were there only yesterday! The whole gardening business in France is far behind the UK in so many ways but I think looking at the increasing amount of garden events over here that gardening is definately on the up and up! Having said that running a business in France is something else!! The social charges are huge and the quantity of paperwork unbelievable! Whoever said that living in France was cheap!!? We love it though - and have so much lovely space that we just wouldn't be able to afford in the UK so there are benefits too... There are some great gardens to visit here, but do miss some of the wonderful gardens in the UK - Stourhead and some of the Cornish Gardens among my favorites! There's so much to do in the garden at this time of year... unfortunately am stuck inside with a horrible cold - thus the time to write! Miranda

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