I am quite often asked about the tools I use and what are the most necessary items for a gardener. Quite often I reply that it is whatever tools you feel are necessary for your garden, but I do have my favourites.
I love my vintage border fork. The tines are so sharp as to scare me, but used properly it is better than a hand trowel or long cultivator. I can gently aerate lawns with it and lift waste or straw like a pitch fork. It is without doubt my favourite tool.
Second come the secateurs. A good pair is definitely worth investing in. There are the Swiss kind, or perhaps one of the other common brands but again a vintage pair properly made, always seems to work best for me. Lastly but not least, I insist on a good pair of gloves. I cannot stress this enough. Working in comfort and without fear of thorn or blister is something I relish.
On another note, I recently visited Devon and was quietly delighted in finding a hidden gem of a garden in Shaldon. Nestled above the River Teign is a small garden of historical note, which goes by the name of Homeyards Botanical Gardens. Five years ago, the garden had been an abandoned mess of weeds, but today it is a story similar to Heligan (yet less widely publicised). The overall design is in the process of still being discovered as there are no plans in existence, so by visiting and showing your support, not only are you creating history but perhaps one day this forgotten corner will be celebrated as other gardens are today.
-- Guy Deakins