Missing tools and found umbrellas

From a few years ago. The red and white umbrellas are still in use

Ha! My reference in my last post about having lost not one but two flax-cutter tools spawned a few replies. Most people, it seems, lose trowels, weeding forks and secateurs in the garden. One person owned up to managing to mislay a spade for quite some time as well.

The bucket on the left holds my tools currently in use. Other bits and pieces are stored where easily accessible.
The simple Wonder Weeder but not. alas, the one I mislaid this week

I try. I really do. I keep a tray of small garden items on a bench and take what I need from there and place them in a bucket to carry around the garden. Still, I managed to misplace a handy little weeding implement we know under its original brand name of ‘Wonder Weeder’ in this country. No matter that I realised within five minutes that it was missing in a confined area, I have yet to spot it. I am confident that it will reappear, that this is a case of not being able to see for looking. This is better than Mark who has put down his good secateurs and our brand-new pruning saw somewhere and has yet to locate them again. (Note: he has since found them in the grape house.)

I am generally well organised indoors and ours is not a household of odd socks waiting for their mate to reappear. However, I would like to know where sunglasses go to hide. I think I have lost three or four pairs in the garden and Mark sheepishly went to buy himself another couple of pair when he lost the last of his. Only one has ever reappeared so somewhere there are six or seven in concealment.

By the time I exhumed it, only the rake head was left

It does, however, allow me to dredge out a couple of old photos. The first was a rake head, exhumed from a patch of clivias I was dividing. Well, I assume it was originally an entire rake left there in error when the first plantings were done more than a decade earlier. I take no responsibility for that because I didn’t do that planting.

The case of the missing hedgeclippers was finally solved

But truly, the best and funniest example is the missing hedgeclippers. “I wondered where they had gone,” said Mark a year, or maybe two later. Clearly, he always meant to go back and do some more pruning on the Magnolia laveifolia at the time but by the time he needed the ladder elsewhere, he had forgotten about the clippers. They made a good nesting platform.

Another example of online shopping in these days of pandemic

Mark and I lead a life filled with umbrellas. This has a lot to do with the both the climate and the geography of our property. It is a fair distance out to the letterbox and similarly, the distance from the house to the all-purpose shed we are in an out of all day long is far enough to get drenched in a downpour. Mark always reaches for an umbrella, not a raincoat, when he is heading across the road to move the electric fences for his steers or to inspect his trial plants. We have umbrella stands on both the back doorstep and at the shed. Even operating off about eight in regular use (plus my good one in the car and the folding umbrellas for travel), it is still possible to run out at one end or the other. It is also very handy to have plenty of umbrellas when the garden is open and that time is looming large. So, I was delighted when my new supply arrived this week.

The glory of the new umbrella haul

Briscoes’ sale brollies, of course (that is a reference which will only make sense to New Zealanders) but are they not a pretty combination this time? The little penguin one is a present for my grandson. The clear one is because that style is handy when leading tours around the garden on a rainy day (and I have a few of those tours coming up).

For I have measured out my life, not in coffee spoons, but in brollies and lost sunglasses.

10 thoughts on “Missing tools and found umbrellas

  1. Anne Herlihy

    one of your followers from Illawarra region NSW. my spade is a small one and dark colour. I lost it completely in my overgrown garden so much so I bought a new one. It did turn up thank goodness as it is a great tool. Keep promising myself I will spray paint it in a fluro colour but have not got round to it. I either have 4 lots of secateurs or none at all. Mos titmes luckily I mislay them inside the house an d not in the garden. Same with scissors. and as for hand trowels!!! Great to know I am not alone!!

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      I wonder if the gardening world divides into those who never lose tools and those who often misplace them with not a lot of middle ground between?

  2. thegardenimpressionists - Julian and Fiona Wormald

    Hello Abbie,
    You might be amused by my latest loss.
    Inspired by a recent post you did about ladders, we splashed out on a 10 foot tripod, which we’d been thinking about for years as our trees have grown. It’s proved brilliant and so elegant to look at every time we get it out, both for garden work and external decorating – a weird point to make about a functional thing like a ladder, but it really does look lovely!
    But we garden on quite significant slopes so getting a bit tired at the end of a long day of tying /threading rambling rose stems in amongst tree branches at maximum reach, I had the odd slow motion experience of feeling the ladder begin to topple sideways, and the chance to think about how to land most safely without ending up with a trip to casualty. This extra thinking time, softish ground and Geranium macrrorhizum saved me.
    The ladder( which was stupidly facing downhill for easiest/quickest access reasons for the last stem- always the way) was fine. The ball of flexitie ended up way beyond the nearby barbed wire garden fence, but could I find the black handled scissors I’d been holding at the top of the ladder? Nope.
    Love the speedweeder tool. I might get one to use instead of old chainsaw files, or Fiona’s metal kebab skewers which is what I often reach for on an intensive weeding session, and goodness knows how many of those lurk in the undergrowth,
    Best wishes

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      I laughed, Julian. Bad of me, I know, but I know that long moment of a ladder slowly keeling over though I do recall sustaining a few injuries when it happened to me. Somewherer in the universe of lost tools, your scissors are communing with my missing sunglasses, weeding hooks and countless trowels and secateurs lost by others.

      1. thegardenimpressionists - Julian and Fiona Wormald

        I’m sure so Abbie. Since you has a similar experience re a ladder fall, I wonder if you had a follow on bad dream/nightmare? I hardly ever dream, but the night following my fall I had a terrible dream and woke in a real panic – my own form of purgatory being stuck in a building like a hospital full of people I couldn’t understand and built like a maze. Won’t seem like a nightmare to many, but for reasons I won’t go into here, it was for me!
        Best wishes

      2. Abbie Jury Post author

        Oh goodness! No, I just remember the sensation of the ladder falling and the subsequent flesh injuries sustained as a result of scraping past a woody azalea on the way down. Though I see stress dreams are common for many of us at the moment and I am certainly experiencing those.

  3. Paddy Tobin

    My one deeply regretted loss is a signet ring which Mary had given me as a gift when we were engaged. I went around with a metal detector without any success.

    On another note. NZ featured in our evening news, showing demonstrations against restrictions associated with Covid. These people should be told of Ireland, a country with almost identical population, where we had a “good” day today with only just over 1,000 new cases today!

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      I can understand your disappointment on the signet ring.

      That demonstration was led by a fringe church led by the most unchristian of men. No accounting for some. Meanwhile, we are freaking out over days when we get 30 cases and this is being touted as failure by those who have vested interests in us not succeeding with elimination.

  4. Tim Dutton

    Reading your post made me recall that I lost some hand shears a few years ago: I’d forgotten about them. So I’ve been searching in shrubs and trees checking under old bird nests to see if I can find them :-). I never thought to look in those sorts of locations. No luck yet I’m afraid.
    Like Paddy I lost a signet ring when I was planting some Acers, that had been a 21st birthday present from my parents, 46 years before. I guess it is under one of the trees.

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