My Gardening Essentials Kit Wish List

Although we’ve been experiencing some truly uninspiring weather lately, I’ve been trying to keep up the momentum and get busy in the garden. Now May is upon us, the growing has kicked up a gear and the risk of frost is slowly decreasing. Showtime!

It’s evident everywhere – from the sudden growth in the greenhouse to the abundance of blooms and blossom in the garden.
I’ve still got a little time before I have to delve back into the world of work, so it’s a case of “now or never” when it comes to getting those essential tasks done. And the busier I get (and with a baby in tow, the more efficient I’ve had to become in getting jobs done), the more I’ve realised how severely lacking my gardening kit has become. It’s not making my life easy. Broken and blunt tools, a bag that’s literally hanging on by a thread, faulty watering cans and even a lack of gardening clothing have been holding me back a bit.

Vegetable Trug Gardening

So it’s time to start planning a revamp of my gardening kit. Although I’m having to watch the pennies whilst on maternity pay, I can still plan (and dream).

Here’s a little wish-list to update my gardening essentials kit:

A Sharp Hoe
My old hoe broke at some point over the winter (either that or it’s simply vanished into thin air), and as an advocate of no-dig gardening, a hoe is an essential gardening tool. I’ve already got a WOLF Garten rake (it’s brilliant), and as the multi-use handle accommodates a number of tools, this dutch hoe from World of Wolf will be perfect… and a space saver too. Great for small sheds stuffed to the brim with gardening tools!

A Durable Garden Bag
Right now, I’m using an old free cloth spa bag as my gardening bag… yes, really! Last year, both handles broke, and with no pockets, I often have to stir my bag for a few minutes before being able to select the right tool. I’ve been researching affordable gardening bags for a while and wanted something that was both functional and a little bit pretty. So far my search has proved a little futile (too small, too pricey, not waterproof, too frilly), but I haven’t given up yet. Any suggestions will be happily received!

Gardening Trousers – with pockets!
I don’t like losing things, but unfortunately it’s something I’m very good at. Plant labels, packets of seeds, twine, secateurs, pencils, a pocket pruning knife and phone are just a few things that I tend to carry about with me in the garden. So weatherproof trousers with pockets, as far as I’m concerned, are a must-have piece of gardening clothing, Whether I’m sowing seeds, up a ladder pruning and trimming, or battling with a knee-high nettle patch, a good pair of gardening trousers with pockets are essential. I prefer a slimmer fit, but comfort has to be my main priority. No squeezed knees or cutting in at the waist, thank you. These durable ladies gardening trousers from Englebert Strauss are just the ticket.

A Galvanised Watering Can
Simply because they’re durable and a classic piece of gardening kit! Much better than plastic, anyhow.

A Potting Shed
Yep, it’s a big one on the wish list, and maybe technically it doesn’t qualify as gardening kit, but nevertheless, here it is. I live in hope of one day being the proud owner of a potting shed. Not just because I’d like somewhere to sow, grow and pot on my homegrown delights, but because sometimes I’m really happy in my own company. Just for a while. So a quiet space to potter and ponder would be a little slice of heaven. In timber form.

Long Handled Lawn Edging Shears
My grandfather, Pappa, always said that edges make a lawn. Whilst I’m more interested in borders than lawns, it’s true that a clean-cut edge can make even the scrappiest bit of garden look smarter. In fact, it’s a trick I’ve been using to great effect this year. So far I’ve made do with painstakingly cutting my edges and veg plot borders with a half-moon and tidying up with kitchen scissors, but really I need to invest in a good pair of lawn edging shears to get the job finished quickly and efficiently.

Got any suggestions for your must-have piece of gardening kit? Let me know in the comments!

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Cherry blossom

Holding on for spring

Bunch of daffodils

Finally, there’s a warmth on the breeze. The world is waking earlier and earlier, and all over the garden the daffodils are singing, shoots are shooting, bulbs are popping their greeny growth above the soil and the forget me nots are sprouting up in every corner and crevice, ready to bloom.

And I’m not ready! E is now six and a half months old, and whilst we’re getting into a routine of sorts, I’m still finding it so hard to eke out a spare moment here and there. My seed packets were purchased in earnest in the darker months of winter, but there’s been no sowing, no planting, no potting on at all. My social media feeds are full of pictures of greenhouses bursting to the brim with seed module trays, sprouting onion sets and the lanky but lush growth of sweet peas.

But my garlic is still in packets, the potatoes are solemnly chitting on the windowsill and I have an abundance of spring flowers just waiting to be potted up to brighten the steps outside the kitchen door.

Hell, I even have trees and raspberry canes waiting to go in the ground. That is not good! Argh!

I really need to get a grip. Just an hour here and there should do it, but I’ve been so busy, and so full of cold. So I’m asking – as much as I want spring to arrive, could she please, please just hang on for a week or two whilst I (pardon my French) get my shit together.

I’ll do better, I promise…

Polyanthus, daffodils ready for potting on

In the meantime, look at these pretty little polyanthus primroses! These, along with the dwarf daffs and irises, will adorn the steps by kitchen door to create a little bit of spring cheer.

dwarf iris

I tend to opt for a more muted colour palette when it comes to polyanthus, steering away from the vivid purples, reds and bright yellows in favour of warm and soothing hues. And once the plants and bulbs have finished, I pop them out under the deciduous fruit trees, to help create a bigger and better spring display each year.

 

Dwarf daffodils in spring

Tete a tete daffodils emerging under the fruit trees each spring

The tete-a-tete daffodils now spring up in a carpet under the damson, followed by some later-flowering and paler-coloured varieties, as well as primroses, polyanthus, cowslips and oxlip. A couple of years ago I added some english bluebells, but have yet to see them flower. Here’s hoping.

Primroses and daffodils

Spring pots from previous seasons; warmer, serene colour schemes more in tune with nature

And here’s hoping to a spare hour and and there in the next fortnight.

My Two Cents: Top Gardening Bloggers Share Their New Year’s Resolutions

Cherry tree in winter

It might be February, but it’s cold, bleak and grey out there and the growing season seems so far away. We’ve had frost after frost, sleet, snow and endless days of cloud and rain, and the garden has been sleeping soundly for weeks on end. It’s been just over a month since we were launched headfirst into 2017, but already the seed catalogues have been arriving in droves.

Top Gardening Bloggers Share Their New Year’s Resolutions

It might be dull and dreary outside, but this time of year is perfect for planning the growing season ahead from the comfort of my centrally heated house. So when Capital Gardens asked me for my take on my horticultural new year resolutions, I was more than happy to help. I joined five other gardening bloggers in offering up my thoughts on what I hope to achieve this growing season, and why this year I’ll be aiming for quality over quantity.

So check out Top Gardening Bloggers Share Their New Year’s Resolutions to see what we all had to say.