I don’t have much that comes up this early in the NW suburbs of Chicago. I have never had much luck with bulbs but will have a lot later on with our pots and other plants. But this year, possibly due to the warmth and moisture, our lilacs are specially beautiful.
I adore lilacs — one reason I love living in New England is that lilacs flourish here. I think of them as the harbingers of “real” Spring; forsythia, daffodils, even cherry blossoms may show up just to get frost-bitten, but once the lilacs bloom, it’s safe to put away the snow shovels.
Earlier this week, Schrodingers Cat left a comment on an open thread:
As a newbie gardener what equipment do I need. What is okay to buy used and what has to be new?
Any help is much appreciated.
Seems like a good time (here in the Northern hemisphere) to raise that question. What would you recommend for starting a garden?
What tools / tips do you wish you’d known about sooner?
My personal hobbyhorse is a pair of good gardening gloves. I like Bionic Gloves, which are spendy, but they’re the best I’ve found. They protect my hands beautifully, yet are so sensitive I don’t have to take them off even for transplanting delicate seedlings. But any gloves will serve, as long as they give you enough protection that you don’t develop blisters or scrapes, and fit well enough that your fingers don’t slip around while you’re using tools.
And I wish I’d known about hand knives sooner. I used a Korean hand plow for years, but since I discovered A.M. Leonard’s soil knife, I’ve never looked back. The company has a subsidiary website separate from their professional-horticulturalists-&-landscapers site; it may be significant that Gardener’s Edge lists their knife & pruner combo but not the knife by itself. (Again, it’s a pricy set, but IMO well worth every penny.)
What’s going on in your garden(s) / planning, this week?