After my talk at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show last month, I received a swag, or a bag of goodies to take home and enjoy, as a gift from the Show planners.
To my surprise I found in the bag a new hand garden trowel with a metal end and wooden handle. It looked like a wonderful addition to my collection of garden tools.
Do you have the garden tools you need to do the work? Or are you like me, in possession of many tools you no longer use?
Allison Kyle Leopold writes in her book The Victorian Garden about the effort of nineteenth century seed companies and nurseries to sell garden tools to the Victorian gardener. She says, “While gardeners of the early nineteenth century could get by with just a simple spade, a rake, a fork, a hoe, shears, a watering pot, and a wheel barrel, the average gardener of the 1870s was advised to invest in more than 30 different tools – pruning knives and budding knives, seed servers and hand-weeders, wooden rakes for the lawn and steel ones for the beds.”
By the mid nineteenth century mass production made garden tools available cheaply. Machines in large factories produced the tools instead of the local metal worker or carpenter.
Advertising and marketing of garden tools took off after 1860 when colorful chromolithographs caught the attention of the consumer. The back pages of seed and nursey catalogs carried the ads.
No wonder the Victorian gardener had to have so many tools.
How many garden tools do you really need?