My Love of Vintage Garden Tools

galvanised watering can

Being a hands on gardener I use lots of different gardening tools, many of them older than I am. Over the years I’ve slowly built up my own personal collection of vintage garden tools, old shabby tools that have stood the test of time. Timeless and stylishly beautiful, I love the idea that old garden tools can be loved, treasured or put to work all over again. There’s something quite special about grasping the wooden handle of an antique gardening fork or trowel, smooth to the touch from years of work gone by just feels ‘right’ somehow.

I have many vintage trowels, forks, onion hoes, secateurs and weed grubbers. I adore my collection of English galvanised watering cans, although rusty and a little battered in places most are still fit for the purpose intended. My stamped (makers mark era 1896 onwards) antique garden line and pin ensures rows are straight for planting, I often wonder if it was ever used in a Victorian kitchen garden. But, my most treasured tool has to be my vintage Brades garden fork. Lightweight, sharp and beautifully smooth with age, each time I push it into the soil it emanates quality.

garden line


I snoop around car boot sales, garage clearance sales and have a flutter on ebay for my finds, I’ve found some real bargains too. This year I stumbled across a shop on Etsy via Julie’s blog Suburban Veg Plot and bought a rather beautiful hand fork and trowel set. My set arrived beautifully packaged in brown paper and garden twine (perfect for gifting) along with a packet of in season veg seeds (lovely touch). So, if you’re wondering what to spend your Christmas gift money on I highly recommend Julie’s shop, Ember Gate, she has some wonderful pieces.

Healing and Hoeing

I had some surgery to my right arm recently, nothing serious (I’ll be fine), but I do have strict instructions from my doctor not to do any lifting or anything strenuous. Brushing my teeth holding a toothbrush in my left hand is hilarious, it’s awkward and annoying not being able to use my right arm properly, not being able to do much in the garden is the most annoying of all.

Vintage onion hoe

I had a potter around yesterday, looking for things that I could do without over exerting myself. It didn’t take long to find a potential job, I spotted some weeds waving at me from the onion bed so I got to work on them using my onion hand hoe – in a left-handed-awkward-hoeing-motion, sort of way.

It felt good to be doing something again, once my stitches are out I can do a lot more. Yay!