Winter is almost over, and soon green shoots of recovery will begin springing from gardens across the country – and North Wales is no exception. This means that there’s preparation to be done – and any gardener who doesn’t join in is likely to be left behind.
A major part of this preparation is in selecting the right tools and materials. This is so whether you’re just getting started out, or whether you’ve been at it for decades; and whether you’re looking after a tiny little allotment or a sprawling country estate.
Do an overview
A good place to start is an overview of the items you already have. Take them all out and perform a quick inspection. If there are any items that need repair, or replacement, then make a note of them. Do your gloves have holes in them? Is the handle of your trowel working its way a little loose? If that’s the case, you’ll want to secure a replacement sooner rather than later. After all, once gardening season kicks in, you’ll be too busy thinking about the actual work that’s to be done than with shopping.
Try before you buy
If you’re shopping for tools, it can be tempting to economise. After all, decent quality tools are often expensive. But you should at least handle the items you’re considering before you part with money. While your local gardening supplier probably won’t allow you to dig a hole in the middle of their shop, it’s still important to get a feel for the tactility of the item – before you even check the price. If it feels noticeably cheap, then it’ll likely not last the distance. If you’re shopping online, be sure to check that your supplier has a returns policy.
After all, you’re going to be spending years handling the device, and so you should ideally feel as comfortable as possible while doing so. While it might be tempting to opt for a cheaper model, the money you invest in a decent set of tools may well spell the difference between a pleasurable afternoon spent pruning a rose-bush and an agonising one.The same goes for watering equipment like garden hoses. Investing in a quality hose will ensure you have equipment that will last you a long time, and is more likely to be rendered reusable if you have to fix it up with hose connectors or other repair tools.
Don’t neglect storage
Tools, like most other items, benefit from being treated with respect. If they’re exposed to the elements, they’ll begin to break down. If they’re not organised properly, they may get lost. For this reason, one should always invest in a good storage solution. If you’re buying a set of tools in bulk, then this will likely come as part of the package. If you’re buying tools in isolation, then be sure to consider where you’re going to store them. Don’t just let them fall where they may when you walk back through the door – you’re certain to regret it later!
If you’ve got access to a garden shed, then this will make life immeasurably easier. With a suitable surface (a wooden wall will do), you can simply hammer in a few nails and hang your tools where they can be easily surveyed and selected. You’ll have fewer dulled edges and misplaced shears that way!
Don’t neglect gloves
If you’re going to be gardening, then you’re going to be using your hands a lot. Moreover, you’re likely going to be exposing your hands to dirt, thorns and other unpleasant things. Many purists will insist that gloves aren’t a necessity – indeed, some might even claim that gloves detract from the tactile pleasure of gardening. But if you’re going to spend a lot of your time tugging at roots and squeezing shears together, a decent set of gloves will save you a lot of pain in the long run.
Make use of wood
Gardeners might, for obvious reasons, focus a large proportion of their attention onto the things that grow in their gardens. But it’s also worth sparing some thought to the supporting cast – we’ve already looked at tools, and storage buildings like sheds. But what about fences, greenhouses, flowerpots and paving stones? Each can play an important role, and each can be installed and maintained even when there isn’t much gardening to do.
If you’re looking to improve the lifespan of a fence, for example, you might clean it with a special solution, and coat it with a layer or two of wood stain. These items are available from Richard Williams, which is among the most reputable North Wales timber suppliers. They’ll provide everything you need to get the wooden items in your garden looking and performing exceptionally well. If you’re looking for a timber merchant in North Wales, you’ll find that they fit the bill admirably!