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.