This morning I pondered about what I just I couldn’t do without in the garden and while there is the obvious of gloves, trowel, weeder, shovel and my wheelbarrow, there are quite of few things on my list that might surprise you.
I rarely head out without twine, twist ties or string, and it’s usually smart to include stakes and plant stands. On a few occasions painters tape or duct tape have been critical.
Naturalists and granola-eaters please skip this paragraph, but I usually have a bevy of chemicals that range from suntan lotion and bug spray to RoundUp, Sevin, and Gardon. I do use soapy water and vinegar on occasion but mostly I save those for the kitchen.
Dog leashes, a stake and water bowls make Harvey and Nigel better company and keep them out of neighbors’ yards. They love to visit when everyone is outside doing things. I’ve tried tying them to the wheelbarrow but when they tug, it rolls or falls over them causing lots of squeals (me and them) and runaway vehicles dragging small bodies.
In the past I put my iPod in my pocket, but after accidentally snipping my earpod cords at least twice I now invested in outdoor speakers that can pipe music from the stereo indoors. This is also nice because I can hear the neighbors saying hello or Dave yelling to get out of the way of the lawn mower. There is nothing I like better than being sprayed with grass clippings from the mower or trimmer.
Another absolute must for a gardener is lots of pedicure coupons. I wear gardening clogs but somehow my feet always end up crusty with dirt and grime. After a few hours on my knees in the garden my back aches, so there is nothing better than a huge vibrating chair, my feet soaking in warm sudsy water, and a pile of trashy magazines to finish out the day.
And the final must-have for gardening? The end of day walk. While you are working it is … “ooo, a weed over there,” “oh I better split that and where should I put the new planting,” and “should I lop off one more branch or not?” In other words, you move task-to-task without reveling in the beauty of the garden or look at the big picture of where you want to go. So after you’ve gotten your pedicure, cleaned up, have dinner on the grill, and are taking a moment to catch your breath… walk the gardens.