Thursday, 10 July 2014

In Your Garden

Our gardening expert writes:

Gone are the days of fork and spade, not that we ever had sight or sound of such luxuries when I started out in gardening. In those days apprentices were expected to spend their first 18 months clawing at the soil with their bare hands. Or teeth.

These days all has changed. There's a fine range of tools to be had in the shops and garden centres for those keen to get going outside. Here's my basic starter kit for anyone new to jobs in the garden:

- all-purpose shoulder-pack petrol-driven power blower with shredding capability. The one I use is adapted from an old BOAC engine and can be relied on to shift most things, but beginners to gardening may prefer something with a lighter touch.

- telescopic cordless trimmer with chainsaw attachment (visor, ear-plugs and body armour essential).

- commercial-standard pressure washer, with motorised deep-thrust crevice brush (steel and nylon options) capable of removing potentially damaging plant-forms, along with unsightly stains, from patio surfaces and difficult joints.

- JCB trench digger with pile-driver, rock-drill and stump-crush facilities - useful also to have the crane-lift and extender functions.

- vibrating wacker-plate surface compacter with gravel-ram option is something I've found to be essential in the garden.

- compact ride-on Harley-Davidson mower with sidecar attachment. (Lawn scarifier a useful add-on - and should do the same for the neighbours.)

Summer is always such a good time to enjoy the peace of a garden.


  1. Fascinating stuff, as ever. I'm not mechanically minded, but as it happens, the other day I found, under an old tarpaulin at the back of the shed, a pretty fearsome-looking bit of kit which turns out to be a Bradshaw - Pewsey 10hp sprote whiffler. Knowledgeable neighbours tell me its the early 1979 top-loading model and could be worth a bob or two.
    Cheers Ken,
    Alan Droan.

    1. Lucky man, Alan, that could be worth a small fortune in the right hands. A Bradshaw-Pewsey, eh, and a top-loader too. I never got to play with a whiffler myself, but in my youth we had a neighbour who whiffled. A Bovington-Perry, I rather think. On summer evenings you could regularly hear him at it through the hedge.

      Yours in gardening,

  2. That's amazing! Why, my grandfather used a Snerk Confobbulator (Mk II) for years in his back garden - with good results. Not one of those nuisance plant-type entities dared poke its little green buddy head above the parapet with one of those around. Which of these - the Snerk Confobbulator or the Sprote Whiffler - was better for rounding up dried peas and pointing them in the right direction? Any ideas?

    Raymond Goolies

  3. I am interested in purchasing a motorised deep-thrust crevice brush (steel and nylon options). Do you have one for sale? I can pay handsomely, in cash.

  4. Yes, I have several, one petrol-engined and the rest clockwork.

    Wayne Facker


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