Gardening tools

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Help! I'm not a gardener, but am trying to get my garden back into shape. Lots to do. The secateurs have broken. Hubby had them for years. Have been googling, and the prices range from sublime to ridiculous. Saw some pro anvil ones, supposedly for weaker hands @£19. Do I go cheap and cheerful, or......
Hope all of you experienced​ Gardner's can advice please. Probably sounds pathetic but I'm just not sure.
Pet, before buying any tools, why not think if you want to have this annual pruning battle? What are you pruning?
My eldest son bullied me into removing all the borders in the back lawn. Since we had created the garden from a jungle 40 years ago, every plant had a story. I gave them all away via Freecycle, feeling so, so sad.
It was the BEST thing WE ever did. Now I have a permanently tidy garden, one of the sons will always cut it as soon as it needs it, and lots of our friends are saying how good it looks. I have a patio with pots, so it's not entirely empty, and there are some naturalized daffs round the edges.
If you want to keep some shrubs, choose the ones which are easiest to trim and keep tidy. The longer the handle, the easier it is to cut through something. I have some "loppers" with handles about 2ft long, made by Wilkinsons, which we use on the hedge at times, they aren't the anvil type, but are very good.
Mind you, my eldest is 6ft 4" with a 52" chest, so nothing gets the better of him! (If all else fails, he'll use a chainsaw).
So do you want loppers, or a gardener to dig the things out. Actually the easiest way to get a plant out is to winch it out with a Land Rover winch, but not everyone has a vehicle accessible back garden like me.
B & Q do some cheapy (ish) ones

http://www.diy.com/departments/anvil-se ... 083_BQ.prd

Not sure what extra you get for the "Pro"
BB, that's just it, I'm so unsure of what I want! There is lots of Ivy, which I don't mind, as it keeps my garden private,plus 2 fern type trees and couple of rose bushes. Sadly, fuchsias and other flowers have been neglected and completely​ gone. The ivy and fern do need cutting back. Am hoping to have some patio pots. Hubby used to do some each year and look after them. I was spoilt as I just had the pleasure of seeing them! I think I probably need both, long handled and secateurs?
I'm trying not to feel overwhelmed.
Thank you Henrietta. I will do some research. Just really want a tidy garden with some patio pots. As in my previous post, I feel a bit overwhelmed and trying not to be!
Actually the best secateurs and loppers I've ever bought came from Lidl's ! They were also the cheapest :D
I need a plan for lowering gardening maintenace as well. I have a treasure of a gardener at the moment - long may he stay. He suggested replacing my kind totaly random border of all through the year interest with some smallish shrubs that flower and are evergreen that just need going over once or twice a year with a hedgecutter. I will try and keep my flowers just in pots as time goes on but it will be a very gradual change over.
Ideas for shrubs welcome- not camelias because I have those in abundance along the side of the house.
How about a variegated weigiela? The leaves are edged with yellow, pink flowers around Whitsun. I have a wide variety of hydrangeas, there are many coloura and varieties. Mine are all in Stewarts Vegetable troughs along the edge of the patio. I put daffodil bulbs under the plants, to give interest this time of year. As you are only a few miles from me, I'm sure they will do well in your area. I took lots of cuttings a couple of years ago. Almost all 60 took!
I tend to go for "cheapish" secateurs (around £15) as I have a tendency to put them down in the garden and then lose them (normally found a few weeks later nice and rusty!).

If you have a lot of soft material to cut back (ie. grasses, perennials etc.) then I would definitely recommend Jakoti shears (available online - also recommended by Helen Yemm of the Daily Telegraph and Monty Don). They're a little more expensive, are somewhere between scissors and shears and they just slice through soft material with virtually no effort!
Pennie wrote:I tend to go for "cheapish" secateurs (around £15) as I have a tendency to put them down in the garden and then lose them (normally found a few weeks later nice and rusty!).
My Lidl ones were a third of that Pennie (a couple of years ago) and are still sharp and going strong :D The only other place I've found very good cheap gardening tools is Wilkinsons (Wilko).

Henrietta another good shrub is Choisya (Mexican Orange), especially a variety called Sundance. It's evergreen with the pale green leaves turning bright yellow and has tiny white fragrant flowers in spring and autumn. Smells of basil :) The standard variety has very dark green leaves and the same flowers. I transplanted mine last autumn and it's doing very well in it's new home :)

Another one is Photina - especially Photina Red Robin which has masses of red leaves at the end of it's green leaved stems. Some stay quite low and small whilst others can grow to the height of a tree and they make very good hedging.

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