Touching the Ground With a Hoe

"One gets strength out of the ground as often as one really touches it with a hoe." Charles Dudley Warner in My Summer in a Garden.

I have added another hoe to my collection of hoes.

My aunt brought me this one from a sale that another aunt and uncle had recently. No one knows the history of it, no one knows how old it is, or how it came to be in my uncle's shed. We can only imagine it might have been used on the farm where my father grew up.

It has a short handle and is what is typically called a grub hoe.

It seemed fitting to take a picture of it in the cool shade of a nearby tree, resting upon a large rock which was once a part of the original foundation of the first homestead built by my ancestors in southern Indiana.

Regardless of where it was used, or who used it, it's earned its rest.

It will be a reminder that as long as gardeners have gardened, they have found satisfaction and strength in hoeing the ground.


  1. Maybe we get a lot out of using a hoe around our plants. Because we are nuturing them by taking out competing weeds. One can never have too many tools.

  2. I have never seen a hoe with such a short handle.It looks cute leaning against the tree.

  3. The hoe looks like it would be comfortable to use - I'm rather short so the short handle would be nice. It doesn't look tired at all - what gardening stories it could tell!


  4. There are some tasks in the garden that just make you feel great - this is one of them for sure!

  5. Is a hoe like a herding dog? Happier when it is at work. You might as well use it. It might turn out to be a favorite.

  6. Glad the hoe has found such a nice home to retire to. I am sure it will get just enough use to feel useful, needed and loved. I do wish it could talk but if you listen, it will talk to you in spirit and share it lessons of life that can only be learned in a garden.

  7. Carol,
    I just thought of a possible reason for the short handle and it would make this hoe more special. Your great-grandfather who did most of the gardening, was kicked by a mule and in his older years he had arthritis in that leg. Therefore, not wanting to give up gardening, he would do much of his work crawling on his knees, so maybe he put a short handle in the hoe so he could use it from a kneeling position. He was the primary caretaker of four gardens and all the flowers.

  8. This heirloom will be a wonderful reminder of how gardening is in your blood - an heirloom in its own right.

  9. Carol, your garden is living history. How cool to have not only the hoe but a rock from the original homestead. Let's picture your great-grandfather possibly using that hoe. Could he ever have imagined a world where his lowly grub hoe would be seen in something called cyberspace for all the world to see? The mind boggles.

    Great addition to your collection!

  10. You have quite the collection of hoes.
    Do you have them diplayed somewhere?
    If you don't, I think you should.
    I went to this restaurant in Inverness (the North Coast of California near Pt. Reyes) and they had this great egg beater collection displayed along one whole wall. It was beautiful.
    I think you should do the same with your hoes.

  11. What a nice new hoe! Your post made me smile - I just got in from helping my father move large rock that was from the foundation of my grandmother's home into one of my mom's flower beds. So - I think the photo of that hoe on a rock from a foundation of your ancestor's is so perfect! How fitting.

  12. OK--I am still working on this. . .you have a hoe collection. Hhhmmmm.

  13. hoelellulia...hoerah...hoemania! LOL how many does this make?

  14. That's the kind of sturdy hoe I've been looking for. I used one as a kid and thought it way to heavy but I could use one now to chop through heavier weeds or just digging.

  15. All

    Thanks for the comments! I love my hoe collection and am always on the look out for new hoes or old hoes.

    Carol at May Dreams Gardens


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