Besides the ongoing transformation of my property from natural clearing-to-scrub-filled-bad-planting-plan-to an attractively planted simulacrum of a natural clearing with moss garden, I have three or four outdoor projects going right now. I am improving the portion of the Confinement Fence around the patio, the deck needs accoutrement for warm weather living, I want to finish topping the planting zones with mulch(es) behind the house. I’d like to complete these within the next two to three weeks so that
when if warm weather finally arrives my family can just enjoy being rather than watch me doing.
Today is yet another in a string of damp, cold, and forlorn looking days in what is officially The Worst Spring Ever. A lot of what I want to do I cannot, and for those I could I frankly don’t feel like it. Even a Landscape Commando can’t conquer both nature and the elements every single day. But if I were going to, the first thing I’d take would be Mr. Diggy, the greatest shovel of all time. In 17 years of escalated hostilities with Mother Nature, I have gone through more than a dozen wooden-handled shovels, a couple fiberglass, but when I saw Mr. Diggy almost a decade ago I knew I had found The One. From simple holes to rocks and roots, equal parts shovel and prybar–I have even taken a whetstone to the blade–this is the Thing That Gets Sh*t Done.
I keep my plants close and my weeds closer, all the better to slip my Hori Hori underneath them; with a sheath to hang on your belt, the tool is always available to make a quick gouge in the earth for planting or to score a rootball. So I don’t lose my balance I carry my Felco pruners on my belt opposite the Hori Hori; and having learned painful lessons with finger smashing boulders and slivery wood, I never bend to work without my West County Garden Gloves. They provide excellent protection and dexterity; come in regular
and waterproof/insulated; and most important: they fit my oddball hands. I have previously spoken of my Vasque boots , but I could also wear my Merrill Chameleons or my Nike trail runners (“Hike-ys”), depending on mud depth; and I have a couple dozen pairs of Woolrich socks in a variety of weights and cushion. While not precisely ‘tools,’ I generally regard this footgear as machines for wearing on your feet . I am not a super fan of spending money–my wife says I buy new clothes every five years whether I need them or not–and none of these things are cheap. But all of them multi-task well, perform necessary function, and last for a long time under v-e-r-y hard use, and so represent good value…and I’ve talked myself back into doing some work.