Time to make a clean sweep
The worst part of coming to the end of the gardening season is that there is always so much cleanup to do leaves to rake; decks, paths and patios to sweep; soggy hosta leaves to dispose of, and so on.
Even if you decide to leave most of your faded and bedraggled perennials unclipped until spring, which is an option many choose, there still plenty of sweeping and raking and general autumn tidy up to do.
But this year will be different. I have three new tools in my cleanup arsenal that I am excited about because they are going to make the job of tidying up a whole lot easier.
Here they are, in no particular order of importance or value. I love each one of them, not merely for their efficiency and effectiveness, but because I think each one is beautifully designed and a pleasure to handle.
1. The Garden Broom
This is the basic broom they use in Sri Lanka, where it is made from recycled material from the coconut tree.
I first saw a version of this broom being used by gardeners on the Amalfi coast in Italy. I st ugg boots sale opped and watched them for quite a while as they swept paths clean as a whistle with one or two effortless swipes.
When I got home I bought myself the best corn broom I could find but, nope, it just wasn as good. The twiggy brush part was just not rigid or sturdy enough to make a clean sweep.
Then Maria Rajanayagam of Franmar International Importers came into my life ugg boots sale with The Garden Broom.
She lived in Sri Lanka for eight years and noticed how everyone used these coconut brooms to tidy up their yards.
I came back here, my mother and I were talking and she said she thought the brooms would work really well here. It was really her idea.
had a friend send some over to me and I found they worked amazingly well in all weather conditions. Rajanayagam gave some of the brooms as gifts to friends and neighbours and she discovered they loved them.
kept asking me if I could get more, as they wanted to give them as gifts, too, so I thought I needed to look at this more seriously as a little business venture. The brush part of the broom is made from the hard mid ribs of the dried leaves of the coconut tree. The binding used to fix the brush to the broom handle is made from recycled coconut husk and shell. The handle is made from recycled rubber tree wood.
is the standard broom in households in Sri Lanka, says Rajanayagam. is used all the time there for all sorts of cleaning. The beauty is that these are made from recycled material, which makes them environmentally friendly. I noticed that the broom is even more effective when it is turned sideways to compact the twiggy brush fib ugg boots sale res into a more solid block, which makes it easier when you are trying to sweep wet leaves that have fixed themselves to the brick of a patio or wood of a deck.
The Garden Broom is available from Art Knapp Plantland and Florist in Port Coquitlam and Art Nursery in Surrey for $29.99.
2. Red leaf rake.
There are all sorts of rakes on the market and I have tried many of them. My favourite for years was the telescopic metal rake, but this flexible red Corona professional rake, with its 25 fixed tines across 19 inches, has won me over because it works beautifully, is lightweight and has a long reach.
The rake has a rivet head connection which supposedly makes it more durable. It certainly feels sturdy enough to last a long time.
The 54 inch handle is a little longer than most rakes, but is slender enough to fit easily into small hands, so your grandkids can do some raking, too, if they like.
When dragged across a rough surface, such as over uncut grass on a lawn to collect leaves, the red tines are flexible enough to bend and bounce back into shape without dropping material or weakening the fixed connection with the handle.
But mostly, the pleasure of this rake is in how it feels in your hand and how effortlessly it collects fallen leaves.
It sells for $19.99 from Big Bear Tools, of Langley, at 604 626 4994.
3. Black and Decker Leaf Hog Yard Blower/Vacuum.
I not really a power tool guy. I have a push mower for cutting the grass and I do all my pruning by hand, but I love this machine because not only does it suck up leaves and small twigs in a flash, it also shreds them through a metal impeller and turns them into recyclable mulch that can be put back into the garden. blower, but I never use the blower attachment. I can see the point of blowing stuff from one place to another.
What I like is that the vac shredder can take 10 bags worth of leaves and slice them down in no time at all into a single bag.
Do you know how much time that saves me raking and bagging leaves in October? I can wait for the trees in my garden to drop their leaves this fall so I can vac shred them and spread the bits around as mulch.
I was pleasantly surprised when using this machine to discover that it is able to pick up leaves on gravel without sucking up the gravel. It will lift leaves and other lightweight debris, but not heavier twigs and stones.
This ugg boots sale makes it a lot easier to clean up gravel paths and decaying leaves and flower petals that have landed on soil.