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10-10-2012 05:25 AM
With Jenna's garden in the front yard coming around pretty well now, I have moved my attention to the utilitarian areas in the rear of the house. It is too early and generally too warm to put in the purple tulips just yet, and the Knockout roses and dwarf fruit trees are shipping in November.
The guys will be wrapping up the solar addition shortly - the electricians did their magic out there and with the RV hookups for horse trailers in the front driveway yesterday. The carpenters are due back there to put in overhead insulation and ceiling tomorrow.
Mike has to move the materials trailer from beside that, so I can start working with the grade uphill to the wood boiler. If not sooner, I expect he will get that done this weekend. I have to work with the dripline of the new addition, plus the gutter runoff from the existing porch roof.
We put good LED motion lights over where the path needs to go yesterday. I think we are looking at several terraced gravel steps up that hillside, held in place by treated timbers, so a bit of digging will be involved.
Mike has said he doesn't want flagstones on this path, which is fine with me. Lots less work involved. This time, he has a truckload of crushed granite stone just across the yard, and the Kubota and frontend loader to work with...I put in the whole front path by moving five-gallon buckets of stone and flagstones from our stockpiles here in NC this summer.
I have been working with a hodge-podge of hand tools, most of them Jenna's, plus a few of my own. Have done more digging this summer than in several years past combined. It was good, sweaty therapy, but hard on my hands and shoulders a lot. I am realizing that I probably qualify as an "older" gardener now.
When the 200 bulbs arrived, I started looking for a long-handled planter. I have an auger for my cordless drill, but I am not sure it will be better to be bent over that adn gripping a heavy drill for hours. Looking on amazon for a bulb tool, I found some new tools called "Radius", which have these cool circle handles, instead of straight sticks or stirrups.
I decided to try a bulb tool, small spade and fork, for starters. They have a full range of different implements, but this will do for now and for a trial. Up until now, I have had mostly whatever brand was at Lowe's or Home Depot, and a few nice stainless ones with heavy plastic handles, which I got at a garden center maybe 15 years ago.
Some of the plastic is starting to show signs of cracking, though. The actual tool tips were stainless, so are like new. These Radius tools are stainless on the working ends, too, so should hold up well.
Made me wonder this morning: Do you have a favorite garden hand tool? What brand do you favor, and which tool is the most useful to you?
I plan to try out these Raduis ones this weekend, if not sooner, and will try to report back soon. They are supposed to be ergonomically designed, and the reviews showed they might favor shorter people, which is a plus for me! I whack myself in the head with a hoe handle more than I'd like to admit.....