Monday through Friday, I am a dedicated AWG – After Work Gardener. If I don’t stop by a garden, a garden center, attend a Garden Club Meeting or walk on Our National Mall embracing the gardens, I rush home and become the…After Work Gardener. Don’t get me wrong. I dream, think and anticipate the joy of gardening 24/7/365. I look at reams of paper and I think..I can recycle that box in my garden. Newspaper….its my weed block. Six sheets thick, overlapping 3-4 inches, so no weed has a chance to emerge. When steaming veggies or in the shower, I think, “I can use this gray water for my plants.” It’s bad I tell you, bad. My co-workers ask me “can you use this for your seeds?”….before they recycle it.

When I get home, my neighbors find that I can garden in a dress and heels just as good as I can in my overalls and boots. I have no problem dressing up for a Happy Hour in my garden. It all has to do with the tools that one chooses to use. Everyone has a favorite tool or two. I have a few that are a part of my After Work Gardener arsenal. Old favorites and a new one that I just knew would not really be useful – however, I was seriously proved wrong!!

THE AWG TOOLKIT

Upon entering the garden, the first thing anyone needs is something to hold a liquid of one’s choice. I choose my favorite glass. It puts into perspective who is in charge at The Cottage In The Court.
I LOVE my TRAKE. A combination trowel and hand cultivator, I bought my first TRAKE about 15 years ago and used it anytime I went into the garden. I could use either end to plant small plants in the soil or cultivate the soil with a simple flip of the wrist. There a few measurements on the trowel part to help with determining depths. I have never regretted buying this tool. I have my original TRAKE purchased at Roxbury Mills in Fredericksburg, Va. and I still cherish it.I gifted my Dad with two TRAKE ‘S over the past few years. How he wore one out is beyond me. I guess passion for this earth runs through my veins…I just have to figure out how Daddy wore his TRAKE out!

Another tool I consider an old favorite is my shovel. Not just any shovel, but a shovel that is an asset in the garden. I am in love with my Earth Talon. I have the long-handled version of this awesome tool. The shape of this blade allows the user to pluck rocks out, slice the earth, slice tree roots like cake and makes digging any hole a bit easier. I have only great things about this shovel. It is the perfect shovel that enables me as a woman to get that hole dug in lickety split time without asking for help. This makes the work for an After Work Gardener so much easier.

A lot of my friends wear exercise tracking devices that look like they are on release from a penitentiary. I use the Bellabeat LEAF. Still a tracking device of sorts,  but it has options on how you wear it. As a wristlet, a necklace or clip onto your clothing, the Leaf is not just pretty. The Leaf is also functional as s stress tracker and you can tap into quick meditation sessions right from your cell. The Leaf has a 6-month battery and options for what type of bracelet or necklace you can interchange the leather wristband – I LOVE my LEAF. I can also look at my week’s activity level to see if I need to garden more or walk more. Depending on how it is programmed, a gentle buzz reminds me to move, I am too sedentary. A terrific tool to wear as you monitor your steps daily and especially in the garden.

The last tool in my After Work Gardener kit absolutely amazed me. I grew up with all types of odd things that my Dad ordered through the mail for the garden. I inherited this gene of experimentation honestly which is why I saw these and wondered if they would really work.I know, I am laughing myself but for light duty, quick gardening – THE CLAW GARDEN GLOVES WORK! I raked away mulch, dug holes without getting soil under my nails and planted 7 pots in record time…all after work! I could tamp down the soil and not worry about the mud…it was amazing!!! Sometimes there is so very little time to get out into the garden to tackle those simple tasks after work, with the alternative option of waiting til the weekend. With my arsenal of After Work Gardener tools, I make certain I have time to get outside and garden with a passion. What’s in your After Work Gardener arsenal?

DISCLAIMER – I have NOT been paid to endorse any of these tools. I speak from my use of them as often as possible, at The Cottage In The Court.

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