But let me start with this: You deserve great gardening tools. I think way too many gardeners are quick to pick up a tool that’s cheap or easily acquired at a big box store and then treat it like a cheap tool they can replace the next time they go to the big box store. Forgive me, but you’re doing it wrong.
This is not to say that expensive necessarily means a tool is great. Certainly that’s not always the case and I can think of a few tools I have that can be picked up at the big box store that I bet are better than their counterparts that cost twice as much.
But sometimes, a tool costs more because it is legitimately worth more. It is designed by artisans to account for finer details of its use, it is made from high quality ingredients and it is crafted by people who take pride in their work. And lastly, it’s sold by people who actually care.
You’ll have to forgive me here, because I’m about to spend some time waxing poetic about the tool (and the people behind the tool) that I’m giving away today. It’s the Sneeboer Ladies’ Spade from Garden Tool Co.
|A few of my tools: The shovel I used to garden with, now reserved for its proper purpose of shoveling piles of dirt, my Sneeboer Ladies’ Spade, my A.M. Deluxe Soil Knife, that you can win here, and my Bahco pruners.|
I used to garden with a shovel; it’s what I learned from my mom, who until last week, also used a big ol’ shovel (guess what she’s using now; let’s just say she’s seen the light). Ergonomically, unless you’re shoveling massive mounds of dirt, everything about a shovel is wrong for gardening, especially if you are a smaller person. The angle of the head is wrong, the handle is too long, the head is way too big, causing undue strain, and it’s too curved to be good for planting, dividing or doing most of the other things we do in the garden.
The Ladies’ Spade has a shorter handle so you can get real leverage when digging. It has a special T handle that is somewhat smaller than on other Sneeboer spades, because it fits better in a smaller hand. The handle is ash from certified sustainable forests.
Then you get down to the business end, where shiny stainless steel (that will put the sheen on your favorite kitchen appliance to shame) is so pretty it makes you not want to get it dirty. Sturdy steps protect your foot from strain after a day of dividing the toughest perennials. The blade is so sharp (and easily sharpened) that it laughs in the face of the most densely packed hosta, and it has the perfect subtle curve to make moving soil easy while still allowing you to cut a straight line.
I did a lot of research before I ordered this spade. It sells for $131 and a tool definitely has to be worth it to drop that kind of money on it. I was worried that it would be too small for my liking, but then the nice folks at Garden Tool Co. (more on them in a second), talked me through all the various sizes of spades and told me that it’s important to work efficiently, and you do that by using the proper size tool. Sure, my old gargantuan shovel moved more soil than my spade does, but it also gave me a shoulder ache after 15 minutes. I can work with the Ladies’ Spade for hours on end without muscle fatigue.
I’m sure some of you are thinking that you don’t take good enough care of your garden tools to own something so great. But remember when you got your first pair of really good (and pricey) sunglasses? Suddenly you stopped losing sunglasses every two weeks. You stopped throwing them in the bottom of your purse only to have them emerge mangled. Two years passed and you found yourself still wearing the good sunglasses. That’s sort of what it’s like with good tools: you take care of them if you love them.
Look at it this way: You spend hours upon hours gardening. You may very well spend more time gardening than any other leisure activity. So why would you have crappy tools? Why wouldn’t you have a tool that will serve you well for the rest of your gardening life (Sneeboer has a lifetime warranty on its tools) and might even serve your kids as well? There’s something comforting about a garden tool you can give to someone in your will.
This is a special spade made in Holland by true craftsmen at Sneeboer, which has been making some of the finest gardening tools in the world since 1913. But this spade is special for another reason as well. Blake and Anne Schreck founded Garden Tool Co. after a frustrating experience with an edger from a big box store. They now have a store in Colorado as well as an excellent website. And despite the fact that they are busy (I saw on their Facebook page that they shipped 435 tools last week), their customer service is outstanding. If you have a question about a product (like I did when I was looking for a spade), drop them an email or give them a call. I can almost guarantee you’ll end up wanting to buy everything they sell and move to Colorado to be close to their store.
There is so much bad customer service out there. Giant retailers don’t really have to care if you are satisfied because when you’re just one out of millions of customers, you don’t matter. Trust me, you matter to Blake and Anne. It is fun to do business with a company like that.
But let’s get to it. You’ve made it through far too many words and I know you’re anxious to know how you get your hands on this great tool.
1. Log in with the Rafflecopter widget below.
2. If you can, leave me a comment about why you’d like to win this. Because of commenting issues this week (sorry about that) it’s not required it for entry, but I’d love to hear from you.
3. Use the Rafflecopter widget to gain additional entries (such as by liking the Garden Tool Co. Facebook page, which you should do anyway because they do occasional giveaways and have great stuff on their page).
And it’s not required for entry, but do yourself a favor and check out the Garden Tool Co. website to see all of the great tools they have there. And if you don’t win, think about picking up something and say hi to Blake and Anne when you do.
The giveaway is open for entries for a week. And remember to enter to win my other favorites that I’m giving away this week: