Apparently, I garden now. As in rip out dead bushes and push the remains in a wheelbarrow to the curb, garden.

For months, we’ve been neglecting some dead shrubs in the yard. In our defense, I wasn’t entirely sure that they’d bitten the dust. Recall, I don’t claim to know anything about gardening. But my Dad (parents are visiting us this week) took one look at them and said, “uh, you’re going to take those out right?” He demonstrated one snap of a dried branch and educated me that this, in fact, means ding dong the witch is dead. Guess we need to start digging.

So, I received a crash course in landscape management and I may as well share.

First, the right tools (we already had some of these in the garage and for some we just made a quick trip to our local Lowe’s garden center):

1. Shears – good for trimming stems of plants and small shrubs.

2. Loppers – good for cutting larger branches and roots.

3. Spade – good all around shovel, and with the straight end, good for edging and cutting through roots.

4. Long Handled Shovel – enough said, good for digging and the longer handle saves your back.

5. Gloves – protect your pretty fingers in case you have hand modeling aspirations. (Oh, and to avoid the stinging nettles in my yard, OUCH).

6. Pruning Saw – cutting through brush and larger branches, roots, etc.

7. Bow Rake – a good all around rake for collecting leaves and other garden debris. Also good for breaking up hard soil.

(all the images are from the Lowe’s website)

Now, my father is no garden expert but as I’ve mentioned in the past, it is something he enjoys and has dabbled in for years. According to his sage advice, these are the tools he reaches for most often and come in handy the most. I’ll take it.

Armed with our tools, we got to work on ripping out some of these dead shrubs. I am ever grateful for their free labor.






I’m truly amazed at what a little clean-up work can do. Removing these dead plantings transformed the yard, all without spending a dime to replant anything new!


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