Garden Trowel And Error – It’s A Tool Life Out There

By Nikki Tilley | February 22, 2021
Image by eyupzengin
by Nikki Tilley
February 22, 2021

It’s been said “Life’s a garden, dig it.” Well, I dig nearly everything, literally. The life of gardening tools ain’t easy, but as my mama always says, “You gotta keep on troweling.”

It’s a Tool Life

I’m one of the most used (and important) gardening tools in your shed, and hopefully this is where you keep me and not just left somewhere to rust in the weather. I’m not immune to the hardships faced each season – rain, snow, cold, grime, etc.

My family comes in all shapes and sizes – whose doesn’t, right? I’m a bit more on the traditional side, an original of sorts. My unique shape is specific to particular gardening tasks, although I’ve been known to do more than the average tool. Seems I’m pretty popular, and maybe a little too dependable, always around when you need me and always something to do.

I don’t mind though. There’s a lot of knockoffs these days, slackers I call them, cheap and unable (or unwilling) to handle a good day’s work. Unlike them, I have a little weight to me and I’m made of good quality stock. In fact, my ancestors can be traced back as far as the Stone Age, around 10,000 years ago. And while we’ve certainly evolved since then, you’ll find my line is still considered the most faithful to have in the garden.

I can be rather comfy in your hand, though I understand after an entire day of digging, potting or managing weeds this can take its toll. Trust me… I’m feeling it too. Try having your blade slice through soil as hard as concrete a couple times. It’s no picnic! Sometimes I’m crammed into tight quarters where I come into contact with some ruthless tap roots. Look, I know I’m tough and all, but I cannot work miracles. It would be nice to have some backup on occasion from my larger long-handled cousins who are better suited for this type of work.

My favorite part of gardening is transplanting. Oh, how I love the smell of fresh soil, especially early in the morning. Each day I’m wondering when I will be gripped and on what great adventure I will journey to. Will there be bulbs involved? Beautiful plants? Bags of potting soil? How dirty will the job be?

Do keep one thing in mind as you handle me. I may like getting covered in dirt, but I have no way of taking a shower, unless you’ve left me outside again. This builds up over time and isn’t good for me. I really appreciate a thorough cleaning after every use. It’s not only better for me but ensures we can continue being garden companions for years to come. I’d also like to be put away after working all day. Somewhere nice and dry would be wonderful. It’s always sad watching from afar as you look for me, having forgotten our last time spent together digging or planting. I know you’ll find me eventually with some trowel and error, but it’s an agonizing wait.

A garden trowel’s life is not that glamorous, but we keep on troweling. That’s what we do. Mama always said not to give up or throw in the trowel. So I just keep going, as those who came before me. There’s no place I’d rather be than in the garden. Just remember to put me back in storage when the job is done!

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