No sooner than I reminded the world of my fondness for gardening-related gifts did I receive a box full of perhaps the most legit gear ever to arrive at Panthy’s Garden.
My friend Craig over at Garrett Wade sent three jammies, a British Army Knife, a Professional Gardener’s Digging Tool and a Dutch Hand Cultivator. I won’t lie, my first impulse was to find something immediately and impale it. Turns out, a tissue box got the business end of the Digging Tool. Effective.
The Army Knife is made in Sheffield, England, the UK’s answer to Pittsburgh I’m told. It’s simple, roundish, and looks like it could live well in a pocket, unlike my Leatherman which is like having a giant heavy metal rectangle in your pocket. That’s heavy and metal, not Heavy Metal.
It’s got a can opener, a spike and a straight blade. I originally thought the spike was for impaling an enemy but the website says it’s for rope work. Rope work. I need to use more ropes now. It’s beautiful and simple. (And it can handle rope work.)
The name “Professional Gardener’s Digging Tool” is really a kind way of saying Garden Impaler. It comes with a scabbard if that tells you anything. It’s got a serrated edge, a very pointy tip and if I could guess, was probably originally used in the trenches of WWI. The only thing missing are some brass knuckles over the handle.
I put it to work breaking up the soil blob that is the dirt from last season’s planters. This is what a sub-irrigated planter looks like dumped out.
The digging tool was so effective that I accidentally punched a hole right through the side of the container. Guess my stabbing was a little too vigorous. Good news is, it made very short work of loosening the compacted dirt. I almost felt like it needed a more worthy foe.
Its pointy tip was precise enough to scoop up these mystery grubs, which no doubt, will blossom into some horrible insect that will destroy my crops. With a quick flip of the wrist, those squirming horrible creatures were sent sailing over the railing to the street below.
The Dutch Hand Cultivator sounds, well, cultivated. But it’s no bullshit design is completely hand made and it’s actually a bit scrappy looking. Its solid construction gives the impression that it will be around for perhaps longer than my garden or me, maybe winding up in the Brockland Center for Historical Studies in the year 2962. ”Hipster Garden Tool - c. 2012”
It’s great at raking around dirt and pulling out large root clumps. I found it nice for spreading precious compost with the round side, or generally fussing up the dirt with the sharp side.
I suspect that once a man has tools like this, he becomes dependent on them. The tools become an extension of the man himself even! And naturally, he winds up getting a giant, corny belt to hold them all. Guess I’ll see if those guys have a belt.