my old hoes! Normally, I don’t try to use the older hoes for any actual hoeing, especially those with their original wood handles, for fear that the handles will snap off. But for some reason, I felt almost compelled to try out this one particular hoe. I still can’t explain why.
I carefully took it down off the pegboard and proceeded to sharpen the head using one of my sharpening stones. Then I took it out into the vegetable garden and began to hoe. At first, it seemed to work quite well and I could tell it was well-made and had probably pleased at least one other gardener when it was shiny and new.
But then without warning, I hit a half-buried rock and heard a sickening cracking noise as the old wooden handle snapped off right by the hoe head. “Raining Rabbits,” I muttered to myself, “I’ve done it now!” As I reached down to pick up the hoe head, now separated from the handle, I noticed for the first time that the handle was hollow and there was a rolled up piece of paper stuck up inside of it.
Carefully, I pulled out the paper and unrolled it. I could hardly believe what I was reading. I had found the third secret to achieving happiness in your garden!
“The third secret to achieving happiness in your garden is to buy good tools.”
Buy good tools?
Oh, yes, it made perfect sense, as did the previously discovered first and second secrets.
Buy good tools!
Buy good tools because it will make your work in the garden more enjoyable. When you use cheap or poorly made tools, your focus is usually on the tool and trying to get it to cut or dig or hoe or whatever you are trying to do. You lose sight of the pleasures of being among the plants and flowers as you get soaked by a poorly made hose end sprayer. You get frustrated when your just mash the stem of the plant and don’t cut it off cleanly. You get tired trying to dig with a cheap shovel.
But when you have good tools, you can enjoy gardening. You can focus on the plants and the garden. You can observe the bees and butterflies. As you reach for those pruners to cut a bouquet of your very own flowers to bring indoors, there is no thought other than “Snip, what a pretty bloom”.
As you hoe in the garden with a well-made hoe, the weeds are easily cut off. When you dig… well, digging can be hard sometimes no matter how well-made our shovel is.
You don’t even need a lot of tools when you have good tools. Start with the basics - a hoe, a rake, a shovel, a trowel, plus sharp pruners and a hose end sprayer that doesn’t leak and you can achieve happiness in your garden.
Buy good tools.
I now had three of the five secrets to achieving happiness in the garden. As I picked up my broken hoe and took it back to the garage, I couldn’t help but wonder where and when I’d find the last two secrets.