tools5As a designer and gardener, I have favorite tools.  I have a certain ancient Dutch hoe I favor, and a small but very sharp stainless steel spade. I am willing to endure the weight of this tool, even before I have a chunk of wet dirt balanced on it, as it is small. My Dutch hoe is weightless, and deadly to weeds. It dances around the crowns of my perennials, with minimal direction from me.

tools3I like my hands far better than any trowel I have ever tried, so workable soil, and whatever it takes to get that is important in my garden. I am not a garden glove girl. My fingers develop cracks every spring and fall. There is no substitute for my hands, in the soil-this is my point of view.

I first learned about making things grow from my Mom. I use the tools I inherited from her on certain occasions, even if they are awkward or poorly balanced, as they have emotional cache.

My toolbox includes a level; my pots are set level to the horizon, and my boxwood is pruned knife sharp, and true. My hoses are positioned conveniently so I can water my pots; I do not have the energy at the end of the day to haul water around.


M and M Flowers maintains many of my client’s landscapes, and my landscape at home, I might add.  I am always working, so they do this for me. When I finally get home, my place looking beautifully maintained makes me feel closer to a state of grace; thanks, Mindy.

tools1Mindy sends the same two men, with their levels and stakes and lines, to prune the boxwood hedge in the front of my store, every year, the first week of June. The sound and rhythm of their long bladed hand shears is quite musical.  It takes them the entire day to prune it.  It is always my favorite day of the gardening year.  The care and precision of their work makes my heart pound. It is so beautiful when they are done, I could weep.

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