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A decent spade is a must for anyone who loves gardening. But don’t buy a cheap one. A stainless steel blade is a luxury but it will slide through the mud easily – and you’ll pass it on to your kids.


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Bypass secateurs are like gardening scissors. The blades pass each other in a sharp, clean cutting action. They’re not cheap but will last a lifetime.

Dutch Hoe


This traditional push-pull hoe is a classic garden tool. You can cut off the tops of weeds in your borders without even having to bend your back. I always carry one for a potter around, just in case I spot a weed.

Garden Rake


Not to be confused with a springy lawn rake, a good carbon rake will help clear borders, break up soil and make seed drills. If you’ve got a deft wrist, it will even flick out big stones and weeds.



You need secateurs to deal with small branches and shoots, but to keep hedges trim, a decent pair of shears is a must. If you regularly clip conifers, bushes and hedges, it will let light in and keep your garden feeling spacious.

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