The Cottage Smallholder

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Essential tools


Photo: Leaf collectors

Photo: Leaf collectors

Tamar from Starving off The Land wrote an amusing article about the things that you need to have to exist in the city and things that are essential for a simple life in the country.

I was lucky, I inherited a lot of tools from my aunt. Pickaxes, shovels, brooms and a very handy sledge hammer. Beside that we have two hoes, a spade, a fork, grass rakes, a wide gravel rake, a long border rake, a large headed plough tool, a small headed version of the same, a lawn mower, chain saw, hedge trimmer, a strimmer, a lawn edger, long handled shears for edging, hedge cutting shears, topiary shears, hand forks, hand trowels, a lawn mower, long handled loppers, tree loppers, secateurs and hand saws for cutting back trees. Not to mention the power tools and large box of hand tools needed for general cottage maintenance.

I thought that we had everything that we needed until the leaves started to fall.

Raking the leaves with the lawn rakes is easy. Shifting those leaves was troublesome. How on earth did John do it?

Yesterday I popped into the massive garden centre at Long Shelford to pick up the cloches that Danny had bought me for my birthday (we now have plenty of cloches for growing more delicate crops outdoors in the winter). I spotted some leaf collectors for just under a fiver and was delighted with my bargain until I spotted similar ones on sale at Amazon for £3.73.

But mine are a much more fetching colour and can double as clam shells for a fancy dress party.

  Leave a reply


  1. Me too! Perhaps we like ridiculous – it can be such fun!

  2. top gardener

    These should not be allowed to be made. two bits of ply cut to size are better, quicker, cheaper, easier to store, less ridiculous to look at, biodegradable, empowering to make your own, or have someone do it for you, won’t end up as pointless plastic somewhere. get real.

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Top Gardener

      I really like mine and use them a lot. They were a great investment!

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Magic Cochin

    I’m delighted with mine. I’ve seen those plastic leaf rakes and they’re really good for clearing up stuff. But for the moment I’m sticking to the metal leaf rake.

    Hello KateUK

    They are brilliant. The Min Pins are a bit frightened of them.

    Hi S.O.L.

    Yes you are so right. My mum taught me that – my secateurs are red.

    Hi Tamar

    Secateurs are a hand held tool for small pruning and cutting. I prefer you description – it made me hoot!

    Yes we have a sort of square ground cloth with handles on each corner that we can haul the leaves about in. Great idea brushing them onto it – hadn’t thought of that.

    Hi Barney

    That’s very clever indeed. So in fact I didn’t really need these after all. But they are fun.

    Hi Joanna

    I’ve just looked where Latvia is on the world map. Now I see why you have snow.

    Hello Wendy

    There’s nothing like a new tool to make my smile.

    Hi Michelle

    That sounds like a good idea. Our groundsheet is rather unmanageable too.

    Hello mrspao

    Wow that’s a lot for postage.

    Hi KarenO

    I’m sure the villagers are delighted that their leaves are getting cleared. Nice one.

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