Favorite garden tool/best gift for gardeners

Hi all,
I would like to generate a list from folks of their favorite/indespensible garden tools and/or their favorite gift to give or receive related to gardening (other than plants :).
My favorite tool is also the best gift I have both received and given to others: the cape cod weeder. Every time I use my cape cod weeder I sing its praises! That little tool makes yanking up crab grass and other weeds so much easier!
Happy gardening! Heidi
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wrote:

Well, phoo. There was a long thread on this subject last year, but I can't locate it.
I believe my suggestion was unglamorous consumables tailored to the needs of the specific gardener. A friend came by and dropped of several bags of almost-full potting soils of various types, and I was delirious with joy. I have enough pots to supply a good-size greenhouse, but am always deficient in saucers (of any size). I've been given a million (well, a dozen pair) of gardening gloves which I never use. After a number of years, I have nearly all the tools I've tound successful, and don't need new ones. But if I found a 50lb sack of compost or manure on my porch, I'd be delighted. If I were know for canning/preserving, and particularly if I gave away a lot of my garden produce, I'm sure I'd like jars and lids/seals.
Oh, and labor. If you *really* want to please a gardener, offer to dig, prune, weed, mow, help build a fence or a trellis, or carry things in or out in your pickup.
As you note, giving plants may be like giving puppies or kittens. If the gardener has been yearning after something specific, that thing would be a great gift. If anyone gave me another African Violet, I swear I'd shoot him/her.
Like all really good gifts, the trick is to know what the person needs/wants/would be delighted with. If you *know* they order plants, seeds, or equipment from a specific outlet, a gift certificate would probably be welcome.
The absolutely *worst* gift is some cute, expensive "gift basket."
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[...]
I gave 50 lb. boxes of composted cow manure and a dozen bearded iris rhizomes to all of my Taurus girlfriends for birthday presents this year. They were *all* delighted with the cow compost, but whined about not having time to plant the iris. Go figure...
Jan
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On Sat, 23 Aug 2003 15:08:13 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@xyz.net (Jan Flora) wrote:

I suppose I'll have to move to AK to get on your list. :-) My next door neighbor is still rooting and potting mini-roses for office co-workers who request plants and then complain that they died a year or 2 later. "...those serpents! There's no pleasing them."
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I have to assume two things before I reply. 1.    This is not SPAM since this tool is available almost     everywhere.
2. You mean hand tool, not power tool.
So, here goes.
The new ratcheting pruners. You can cut an 1 1/2 - 2" branch with a minimum of effort. The hose extenders, a garden hose holder that also has a spigot on it. You can run a hose from the house spigot to this, leave the house spigot turned on, and attach another hose to the second spigot and use the turn on/off on there. The usefulness of this increases with the problem of getting to the main spigot.
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My favorite tool is not usually considered a garden tool. It is a masonry pointed trowel. They come in three sizes. I like the one that has a blade about 3.5" long. After sharpening, you will find no tool more precise and easy to work with for "down on your knees" weeding. Use it for below the surface root cutter. Not as a pry tool. You'll love it.

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When I moved in to my first house, a friend gave me a "gift bucket" with a dandelion weeder (not sure of the technical name), trowel, pruning shears, gloves, and a knee pad in a galvanized bucket. That was the best gift and I've used them constantly. I was also pleased that the former owners left behind a shovel, hedge trimmers (manual), and a bag of potting soil, all of which I have also used and been thankful for.
What I'd love to have for my yard is the cape cod weeder you mentioned. :-) I have a yard full of crab grass and I need to get it under control. I'd also like to steal a friend's power tool - interchangable string trimmer, edger, and blower attachments.
Garden wise I'd like to find a friend to help me put together a compost bin.
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