Always take along the best tools for the job – Smithers Interior News

After the disappointment that the frost was turning my annuals black, I began trimming the dahlia stems to about a foot. The flower beds where both the dahlias and large marigolds grew look bare.

I now have the choice to leave the flower stalks on the lawn and later, after the dahlia bulbs have been dug up, place the tips back in the beds and chop them into small pieces with a spade and dig under them. Or I can carry them to the compost heap.

One thing I learned in gardening was to always take the right tools with me for the job. It kept me from making unnecessary extra trips to the tool shed. It didn’t matter what I had to do. Special tools were always good when I was with me every time I gardened.

One tool that I always seemed to need was the secateurs. The name pruner is a general description of several pruning tools. The exact name is secateurs, also called hand or garden shears. They are strong enough to prune smaller branches from trees and shrubs.

Carrying secateurs in one hand can be awkward when working. So I found a wide belt and a holster for the secateurs. Unfortunately, this is another helpful thing that isn’t available locally. If someone finds a suitable bag, also with space for additional hand tools, please contact me so that I can post it.

I’ve enjoyed a flowering cactus plant in the living room for years. This cactus plant is now full of buds and flowers. Most people call it a Christmas cactus, but it can bloom at other times of the year as well.

Over the years I have taken cuttings and now I have a lot of plants. A few years ago the cactus had grown so big that it broke in two. I decided to transplant the surviving cactus part into a much larger pot twelve inches high.

Then the half that survived the disaster tilted to one side and changed from an upright plant to a hanging one.

So don’t let anyone tell you that gardening is boring. Please do not move or rotate the cactus while it is blooming. The flowers can fall off.

If you have any questions or suggested topics, please email me at [email protected]

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Erik’s dahlias were cut to one foot after the first frost. (Photo by Erik Jacobsen)

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