Being a hands on gardener I use lots of different gardening tools, many of them older than I am. Over the years I’ve slowly built up my own personal collection of vintage garden tools, old shabby tools that have stood the test of time. Timeless and stylishly beautiful, I love the idea that old garden tools can be loved, treasured or put to work all over again. There’s something quite special about grasping the wooden handle of an antique gardening fork or trowel, smooth to the touch from years of work gone by just feels ‘right’ somehow.
I have many vintage trowels, forks, onion hoes, secateurs and weed grubbers. I adore my collection of English galvanised watering cans, although rusty and a little battered in places most are still fit for the purpose intended. My stamped (makers mark era 1896 onwards) antique garden line and pin ensures rows are straight for planting, I often wonder if it was ever used in a Victorian kitchen garden. But, my most treasured tool has to be my vintage Brades garden fork. Lightweight, sharp and beautifully smooth with age, each time I push it into the soil it emanates quality.
I snoop around car boot sales, garage clearance sales and have a flutter on ebay for my finds, I’ve found some real bargains too. This year I stumbled across a shop on Etsy via Julie’s blog Suburban Veg Plot and bought a rather beautiful hand fork and trowel set. My set arrived beautifully packaged in brown paper and garden twine (perfect for gifting) along with a packet of in season veg seeds (lovely touch). So, if you’re wondering what to spend your Christmas gift money on I highly recommend Julie’s shop, Ember Gate http://www.etsy.com/shop/EmberGate, she has some wonderful pieces.
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on December 29, 2012
I haven’t posted about our allotment for a while, here’s an overdue photo update on how our allotment plot is coming along.
The early days:
After a lot of hard work:
To recap, in April 2011 we (hubby and I) were offered a brand new plot at the village allotments. We spend quality time together at our allotment, working the plot and relaxing afterwards. The vegetable garden at home is very much mine, which is nice but I do enjoy hubby’s company at the allotment, sipping tea and chatting about our achievements so far. It’s been back-breaking at times but we’ve had a lot of laughs too.
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on December 27, 2012
Merry Christmas everyone, have you unwrapped presents yet? What are your plans for today? We’re having a quiet family Christmas on our own this year, no doubt Christmas TV, chocolate and a few tipples will be on the agenda for later on. Tomorrow we are visiting family in London.
Have a magical Christmas and best wishes for the new year.
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on December 25, 2012
This Christmas Eve is very calm and peaceful. Today we’re wrapping a few gifts, relaxing with our children in front of the TV and generally chilling out. We’re usually running around flapping over those last-minute things to buy, being pushed around in shops by moody people, dreading the food shopping queues and drowning under a mountain of wrapping paper. Not this year, we’re very organised and it’s wonderful.
Our dogs are enjoying a lazy afternoon nap as we watch Christmas films. I hope you’re enjoying your Christmas Eve too.
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on December 24, 2012
I do love parsnips with my Christmas dinner, for me, it’s just not the same without them. The growing year wasn’t a successful one overall and despite germination setbacks due to cold, wet soils, once again my parsnips haven’t let me down. My spade and fork are at the ready, I can almost taste their sweet, earthy flavour already. Yum!
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on December 21, 2012
December is a great month to finish tidying, tackle repairs to structures, winter dig and generally plan and look forward to the coming growing season!
- Get on with winter digging (avoid if the ground is frozen or waterlogged)
- Spread well-rotted manure on areas that need a bit of a boost (avoid planting roots in these areas)
- Harvest Brussels sprouts from the bottom up
- Harvest parsnips after a hard frost, they’ll be sweeter for it
- Plant garlic if you can work the soil, otherwise use small pots and plant out once rooted
- Drool at seed catalogues and plan your veg planting for next year
Posted by The Garden Smallholder on December 19, 2012