A good pruner is one tool that you will use almost daily. There are two types of pruners on the market. One is called an “anvil” pruner, and the other is called a “bypass” pruner. An anvil pruner has blades that meet on top of each other. Bypass pruners have blades that pass each other like scissors do. Always use bypass pruners so you don’t crush your canes and stems.
When your rose garden starts to mature there will come times when this will be an indispensable tool for cutting back old, thick canes that are too much for a set of pruning shears. If you are just starting your rose garden, save your money as you won’t need this for a few years.
Choose a lightweight model with a strong handle. Shovels with fiberglass throats are good choices. Spend a few extra dollars and get one with a padded handle as it will save you lots of blisters as the years go by.
Avoid the temptation to buy the cute garden “carts”. Trust me on this, you are going to need a real wheelbarrow. As your gardening addiction, I mean hobby, takes off there will be no end to the things that you will be hauling in and out of your garden. Some of those things will be very heavy and you’ll be glad that you have a real wheelbarrow to help you.
“You can complain because a rose has thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have a rose.” – Tom Wilson (American cartoonist)
The rose garden is no place for thin, wimpy gloves. Unless you enjoy feeling the thorns pierce your skin, opt for leather work gloves with those big, fold-down cuffs.
Some people prefer the big 8″x15″ water-resistant pads with handles, while others prefer strap-on knee pads. The knee pads are more convenient because they move when you move, but the one-size fits all knee cups may not work for you. In that case, the pad will suit you fine.
Short Garden Digging Fork
Indispensible for turning and loosening soil in small patches. Choose a good quality model with steel forks and a sturdy handle.
Great for watering potted roses and for giving your other roses a good root soaking. Choose a model with a quick shutoff valve on the wand itself, and a quick release fitting for the end that plugs into the hose. Spend the money to get a model with brass fittings instead of plastic. It will last years longer.
These are the rakes with the sharp steel teeth that you use for leveling and smoothing beds. Choose one with a sturdy handle and steel tines.
You’ll use this a lot for cleaning up clippings, leaves and other garden debris. You may want to buy both a “regular” size rake, and one of the smaller “child size” rakes if you need to pull debris from tight quarters.