No Hoes Here

One could say that we are hoeless at the Faire Garden, but it would not be entirely true.
If you look hard enough at our array of gardening implements, you will see hoes resting on the board that holds the shovels and rakes. But they are rarely used.

We have on occasion purchased antique, (or sold at antique stores) tools that are artful as well as useful. But we have not used them. They do add a charm to the shed interior though.

Tools have even been found on the property, buried under layers of unpruned privet hedge. We consider these art also.

Another found piece, an all metal wheelbarrow with a rusted out basin. Perfect for a planter of mixed sedums and sempervirens.

While in use, the wooden handles of tools have been know to break, thus becoming yet more art. The birds really like to perch on the tines.

An expensive English made specially ordered shovel, whose handle was broken in the removal of the giant pampas grass, makes an artful display that also functions as a hose guide.

Tools truly used, daily in fact are the small digging spade and mini rake. This shovel is the go to around here. Small enough to not wear out a slightly small and slightly weakening with age gardener with its weight. The little rake is perfect for fishing algae out of the pond along with fallen leaves.

At times, micro surgical tools are needed for those tight spots. The knife and cobrahead can weed and dig holes for planting smaller additions. The muddy handles are proof of the hard use they endure.

The queen of the garden, the felcos. Her highness is muddy handled also. But she wears her dirt proudly for the leadership she provides to her adoring subjects. The gnomes have brought tributes to honor her. Long may she reign!
This post is part of the
Hoe Down sponsored by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

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36 Responses to No Hoes Here

  1. Gail says:

    What a fun post…We seem to share the same taste in tools.
    BTW, thanks for catching my clematis labeling. We are getting rain this weekend, needed but not wanted; were I to be in charge we would get gentle rain at night and wake up to a beautiful day!

    Hope you have a beautiful weekend,

  2. mss @ Zanthan Gardens says:

    Damn! I’m late again. I thought the hoedown was Saturday.

  3. tina says:

    I have one hoe, and like you I rarely if ever use it! I prefer the good old fashioned hand pulling or my fish hook. Nice post.

  4. Phillip says:

    I like the way you have recycled the broken ones and used them as ornaments in your garden. Very clever!

  5. Anonymous says:

    The title of your post caused a burst of laughter from the most southern part of my belly, roaring like thunder, with a quick hand to the mouth to stifle my outburst. I loved the ideas of the broken tools as perches. Also, new ideas for my coop of chickens. Maybe a memorial for the ones I have lost. Much Love, CP

  6. Frances, says:

    Good morning Gail, I wish you were in charge of the weather, that sounds perfect. Sorry about the clem, but thought you would like to know. Glad you enjoyed it.

    MSS, Busted! I am always out of town on Saturday visiting offspring and cannot respond to comments or even get the post up sometimes. It had to be early or late with the hoe down, so early it was. You are not late. ;->

    Hi Tina, 99% of my weeding is with my hands. That is why I wear gloves out so fast. I can’t see what is a weed and what isn’t without getting down and looking them in the eye.

    Phillip, Thanks, I couldn’t bear to get rid of a perfectly good shovel head and kept it for a while before figuring out what to do. Rakes break all the time, as do lots of tools. If only I could weld…

    Chickenpoet, I don’t know what you found so funny about the title, child.;-> You will be able to think up something clever for your chicken memorial, I’m sure. love.

  7. Nancy J. Bond says:

    It’s always so interesting to see what everyone uses in their gardens — I do like that mini rake very much!

  8. Frances, says:

    Nancy J., I agree, seeing what others like to use might give us some ideas of ways to improve our methods. The mini rake is good for tight spaces, but so are my hands, what I normally use. ;->

  9. Lisa in CA says:

    I love that you use the old and/or broken gardening tools as art in your garden.

  10. Cinj says:

    I would probably paint the head of the broken shovel with some birds or flowers or something too, but what a great way to use old tools. Most of my garden tools that aren’t rakes or shovels are still in my old shed. I’m going to get them tomorrow since I may even need them this year!

  11. Frances, says:

    Hi Lisa in CA, welcome, glad you got your blogger link going so you could be added to my sidebar. Thanks, we hate to throw anything out here. Especially tools. ;->

    Cinj, Good for you getting all your tools, that means gardening will be done. There was a time when I too would have painted the shovel head, now I am sort of into rust. ;->

  12. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Great post Frances. I like the way you have used the old shovel as a hose guide. I have an old metal wheelbarrow that is holey in the bottom but I still use it as a wheelbarrow since my new fancy wheelbarrow with an air tire goes flat at the most inopportune times.

    The Queen is also a major player in our garden work.

  13. Frances, says:

    Hi Lisa, Thanks. We have two new wheelbarrows, both always have flat tires. They sit in the garage. Long live the queen.

  14. walk2write says:

    We used to have the same problem with tires on our wheelbarrow and finally got a solid rubber tire for it from Lowe’s. We have had it now for about seven years, and it’s still going strong. My husband and son used the wheelbarrow every day in the drilling business, and it still has bits of portland cement stuck to it, but it’s one of my favorite pieces of equipment (can you call it a tool?).

  15. Frances, says:

    walk2write, We need one of those solid tires. Must look into it, thanks. I would definitely call a wheelbarrow a tool! Thanks for stopping by.

  16. Kathryn/ says:

    Hi, Frances, My wheelbarrow had a flat tire and I had a gardening helper put some green slimy stuff out of a spray can into the air vent and it stopped up the hole, permanently. Someone will know what it’s called, I’m sure. This is a lovely post, a little peek into your garden, which is always so dear. I have one of those teeny rakes, too, which I saw a Mexican gardener using at the Princess Hotel in Acapulco and purchased as soon as I got home as I saw how clever it was in its minimal invasiveness. Love it.

  17. Philip Bewley says:

    I loved all of this, Frances, but what really tickled me was the
    “expensive English made specially ordered shovel, whose handle was broken in the removal of the giant pampas grass, makes an artful display that also functions as a hose guide.”
    I love that so much 🙂

  18. Frances, says:

    Hi Kathryn, that is good to know about those pesky wheelbarrow tires. We have used something called fix a flat, but the tire still goes flat just before it is to be used again. We need that solid rubber tire someone mentioned above. Thanks. The tiny rake is fun just to walk around the garden with and poke at things, too.

    Phillip,thanks. Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for stopping by.

  19. Carol says:

    That little hand tool from Cobrahead is a hand hoe, so you do have a hoe! No gardener should be without a hoe, even if it is only a hand hoe.

    I love my Felco’s, too, along with my hori-hori knife.

    Thanks for joining the hoe down.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  20. Hanneles Paradies says:


  21. Piondröm says:

    Nice that you ceep the old tools, it,s charming.
    I also like your gnomes.

  22. Melanie says:

    Frances, this was a wonderful post, charming and delightful. I hope I have time to get out and photograph my tools today.

  23. Frances, says:

    Carol, thanks for letting me know that I do have a hoe, but will let the title of the post stand. ;-> Thanks for putting on this show, it should be fun to see how others treat the topic.

    Ken, I have a hard time throwing away anything that might be repurposed. Thanks for stopping by.

  24. Frances, says:

    Hanneles Paradies, welcome and thanks for visiting.

    Melanie,thanks doesn’t that sound funny, having time to photograph your tools? We spend so much time photographing our flowers. ;->

  25. Benjamin Vogt says:

    Gnomes have brought tributes? Of what, I wonder? Some bleech, a little lubricant, some clean water, perhaps a stem that needs delicate trimming? Ha.

  26. Lisa in CA says:

    Come to think of it my wheel barrow tire is almost flat, too. A solid tire sounds like just the ticket. Thanks for the idea!

  27. Rose says:

    Aren’t you lucky to found some of these antique tools on your property! Very creative ways to use tools as art.

  28. Frances, says:

    Benjamin, HA only you would think to questions the tribute of the gnomes. Their little wheelbarrow and basket contain acorns, nuts and other examples of nature’s bounty. But your ideas would please Queen Felco more, she is a hard working monarch.

    Lisa in CA, I didn’t even know there was such a thing, and am going to check it out.

    Rose, Thanks, we were thrilled to find those old implements and treasure them.

  29. chuck b. says:

    No hoes in my back 40 either. What would I do with a hoe? I could see that Cobrahead could getting some action, tho’.

  30. Frances, says:

    Chuck B., it seems we are both so densely planted that a hoe is too large to be of use. The cobra head is good for those tight spots. I mostly weed on hands and knees crawling around and really do no cultivating. There are always seedlings of things that I want mixed in with the weeds, so hand plucking is what is done here.

  31. Dee/reddirtramblings says:

    Frances, like me, you use more hand held hoes. For my smaller places, I like them better than the long handled hoes.~~Dee

  32. Frances, says:

    Hi Dee, while I would love to be able to stand up straight and weed with a long handled hoe, is just doesn’t work, I would sever all the plants that wer trying to be grown! Thanks for stopping by.

  33. semi says:

    I also had to laugh at the title (still giggling a little) And of course the gnomes are adorable. Your artful yet functional display of old tools is wonderful. Hardscape and decor is always something I forget about in my semi

  34. Frances, says:

    Semi, you and your sister….Your garden will tell you what it wants, it is coming along nicely. My gnomes say Ola to your gnome. love.

  35. Diana says:

    Frances, I’m like you, just two true Hoes in my garage. But lots of tools. I like that your gnomes honor the felco pruners. Too bad they don’t learn how to use them!

  36. Frances, says:

    Hi Diana, Thanks for stopping by. The gnomes offer moral supposrt more than physical labor, but that is okay. We love to prune. ;->

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