Perfect Edges – A Memory Of Landscaping

By Mary H. Dyer | February 25, 2021
Image by dylanjones
by Mary H. Dyer
February 25, 2021

My parents didn’t have fancy or unusual gardening tools, but just the usual tools that everybody has in their garage. They used a shovel, hoe, rake, wheelbarrow, various pruners, and an old pitchfork with a broken handle (it was farming country!). 

Garden Tools from the Past

We had a riding mower that my father used to mow the large, grassy area around the house. A regular gas-operated push mower was fine for the lawn. Eventually, Mom and Dad got tired of mowing, so they dug out the grass on a tricky slope and replaced it with low-growing juniper that soon blanketed the hillside. 

My parents built their home, a typical three-bedroom, ranch-style house, in the late 1950s. The yard was huge, and my mother loved growing flowers, so the house was surrounded by flower beds. She also had a semi-small vegetable garden (like me, she enjoyed growing flowers more than vegetables). She also had a lot of fruit trees and shade trees, including a beautiful weeping willow.

An underground sprinkler system was installed when the house was built, and I remember my dad spending hours every year trying to get the brass heads to work properly, usually without success. (He was a patient guy). 

My mother loved spending time in the garden, but I think the landscape was a little too much for one person to manage. I came along late in life. My brother was gradually taking over the operation of the ranch, so my father had more free time to help around the house. 

The Edger

One tool that got frequent use was an edger. It was just an old-fashioned manual, moon-shaped tool with a long handle. Every spring, Dad edged around every flower bed to keep them even and tidy. 

Funny, but that’s probably the tool I remember best. I had an edger like that, but I’ve learned that it’s easier not to be so fussy about perfect edges.

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