May 022012

Roseby Avis Licht – Do you want to make your mother happy? If she’s like me, she wants something useful and thoughtful. My sons have really nailed it over the years.  Each of the suggestions below are gifts from my sons. Of course, I’m not exactly a “normal” girl, but, hey, get a gal what she wants. If  your mom likes to garden consider getting her one of these:


Sturdy, lightweight and well balanced wheelbarrow


1: A light weight, well balanced wheel barrow. Seriously. Most wheel barrows are made for men and are too heavy and unwieldy. I use my wheel barrow all the time and it makes my life easier. I never want to do more work than necessary and that means never moving more weight than I have to.

Jeep Model HO-5P for Homeowners 

The perfect wheelbarrow solution for around the garden. Even with 150 pounds, this corrosion-proof 5 cu. ft. wheelbarrow remains light because the tub is up front over the wheel. A steep angle of inclination assures that even a “wet” load will never spill a drop.

D handled spade

I've had my spade for 40 years. It looks like this only dirtier



2. A strong, well balanced spade. This one should last the rest of her life, hopefully a long one. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  It’s worth spending more now on a good tool and having it last than having to replace one that breaks, or gets wobbly.








3. You can never go wrong with flexible, well fitting gloves.  A woman’s got to keep her hands looking good and still keep them in the dirt. These gloves fit perfectly, allowing you to use your fine motor skills, unlike some of those gloves that make you want to rip them off your hands so you can get some actual work done. (Click on the photo to order a pair!)

Don’t forget to tell your mother you love her. She’ll like that too.


Apr 112012
Long handled shovel, Digging fork and D handled spade

Tools I can't live without - Not every woman's idea of a great thing to have, but it is mine

by Avis Licht
Although gardening can be a very simple and straightforward event, there are some basic tools that are necessary for success and a few that just plainly make it easier and better. Here are some of my favorites:

1. A strong digging spade and fork for loosening up the soil. I’ve had my English digging tools for 40 years. Take care of your tools and they last a lifetime.  It is worth the extra money for a strong tool.  They are made so that you can leverage the D handle for moving the soil without hurting your back.

A strong tool won’t bend, break or give up on you.  You can count on it to do the work for a lifetime.  I use my digging for for breaking up hard pan, dividing plants, loosening soil and digging beds. Though it’s hard to fork over the dough for a good tool, you’ll realize it more than pays its own way when it lasts 40 years.

D handled spade

This handle allows for leverage in moving soil without hurting your back.

D handle garden fork

Excellent for digging and loosening up the soil

I am thrilled to be able to offer Clarington Forge tools. I have used them for years, and they are absolutely high quality. Click on the banner and take a look at what they have.

2. Small hand tools: A planting trowel should fit comfortably in your hand and be strong.  Cheap trowels bend easily at their neck and break in no time.  I know, I’ve tried them. A small hand fork works to loosen up soil as it becomes compacted over the season.  We hate compacted soil.

Ergonomic hand fork

To loosen up the soil around plants, this tool is essential.

Ergonomic hand trowel

Strong and angled correctly. You will use this tool a lot.










Bamboo poles for staking tomatoes

Start early for staking tall plants so they can grow tall and straight



10% off orders over $50 at Gardener’s Supply Company! Expires 5/24/12.




3.Plants grow quickly and many of them need support.  One of the biggest mistakes gardeners make is to  wait too long before staking up plants like peas, beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and flowers.  Once a plant falls over it is hard to train it  up without hurting the stems.  Have a look at these growing supports. Sometimes you can make your own, but sometimes you can buy what works best for a reasonable cost.

Expandable and lovely willow trellis

Use them in the summer, then put away in the winter for next year.

tomato cage

It is important to hold up your tomatoes, or they will rot on the ground

pea fences

Peas and beans grow faster and better when staked early

Gardener’s Supply Company Deals of the Week: amazing discounts on Gardener’s Supply favorites!

Aug 282011

Working in a small garden you need to have good hand tools.  They should be strong and well made to last long, and easy on your back and hands. In the name of saving money, I’ve bought cheap tools, only to find that they didn’t last long and didn’t work well.

For digging in the garden I use an English spade with a D Handle made by Bulldog Tools.  They’ve been doing this for more than a hundred years and really know how to make a great tool. I’ve had mine for 40 years, and it is still as good as the day I bought it.  The wooden handle is sturdy and hasn’t come loose in all those years.

I also use a digging fork. Especially useful in rocky soils and wet soil, the fork is a great tool.

A long handle fiberglass shovel, my old digging fork and a new spade, my most important tools


The Felco Pruners are well made  and come with a variety of handles that are made to fit your hand. Keep them sharp for easiest use and best results in pruning.

A long handled shovel is also necessary.  The one I use has a fiberglass handle which won’t rot like a wooden handle, if you leave it out in the rain. Not that I would ever do that, oh no. Well, maybe a few times.


This is a Haws watering cans.  Let me tell you, all watering cans are NOT created equal.  You can see that the Haws has a long spout. A gallon of water weighs 16 pounds and it is difficult to carry that much water with a regular watering can, it always wants to tilt forward.  But with the Haws you can carry it by the spout, which  evens out the weight, and then it pours very well from the spout. You can get it in metal or plastic

Keep your tools clean, sharp and in the shed, and they will last a long time.

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