Menu & Search
Summer Gardening Essentials and Tools

Summer Gardening Essentials and Tools

By Lara of Messy La 

When first learning to garden, I read and re-read everything there was to know about gardening tools, where to start and what to do. After leafing through page after page of beautifully illustrated gardening books and even vintage gardening books that are always right – I’ve come to have some firm favourites that I use daily in the garden. All are wholeheartedly practical and wonderful to use, as well as having the added bonus of being delightful to look at.

Orla Kiely Gardening Fork & Trowel
Having a decent fork and trowel is essential in the garden.. You need them for every task whether you’re a windowbox gardener or a greenhouse gardener. My Orla tools are lightweight, sturdy, functional and pretty.

Gardener’s Organiser Kit
Having a little kit with all the bits and pieces you need is vital. Things you don’t think about, like cane covers, are hugely important for safety. Buying a small kit will always surprise you and will make your life as a gardener so much easier. Being a successful grower is all in the details!

Sophie Conran Potting Sieve
Potting sieves are a wonderful invention. They allow you to plant up your seeds or seedlings, and sprinkle over your soil gently. Having a fine layer of soil will give your seeds the best start in their lives and also minimise mess!

Leaf Ties
Whether you are growing tomatoes, sunflowers or cucumbers.. every plant flourishes and needs a helping hand to stay taught and tall. You can use simple wire ties or even a generic zip tie to lightly pin up your plant to a cane. However, I like to add a touch of beauty throughout my greenhouse and choose to use these wonderful ‘leaf ties’. Use the same as a zip tie and they camouflage themselves amongst the leaves.

Sophie Conran Baker’s Twine
Twine can be utilised throughout your whole garden and greenhouse. We have created a washing line to hang our seed packets around the greenhouse using bakers twine and we also use twine for more robust work, like welding together your garden canes. Baker’s twine is so cheery and pretty, yet functional and a real helper in the garden.

Seed Markers
Planting seeds in stages, or planting seeds at all, can become confusing when everything starts to flower at once. Marking your plants with their seed variety, when you planted them, any special feeding requirements and a typical harvest date can be extremely helpful! I like to use multi-coloured markers to brighten up my potting bench.

Eco Pot Maker
I love to be eco-friendly. Re-using and improvising where possible! I came across this genius eco-pot maker recently and it really makes my heart sing. Simply take some old newspapers or even scrapbook papers and make a selection and limitless supply of newspaper pots. They are biodegradable and perfect for young plants and seedlings. An essential and favourite of mine!

Custard Cream Seed Papers
Choosing seeds is like choosing an outfit, for me. I love choosing exotic veggies or delicate florals I wouldn’t find in my local supermarket. Finding natural seeds, and even handmade seed papers like these custard creams, is such a treat! My custard cream papers grow wild flowers like snapdragon and sweet alyssum.

Gardening Gloves
A given, really. Protect your nails and precious hands with some hardwearing gloves. These gloves are from the Royal Horticultural Society, are fabulously functionaly and are beautifully floral printed!

A Notebook
I like to plan my garden: what I am going to grow, what times of the year I am going to grow them, what I thought about that weekend sow, what I would do next time.. etc. etc. The list of notes you need is endless and it’s handy to have it all written down. (Being in a pretty notebook always helps)

For chopping your harvest, cut flowers or herbs! Every gardener needs some secateurs – I like to have a few pairs dotted around the garden.

All of my gardening tools are from the online gardening boutique, What You Sow. Her store makes my heart melt and the quality of each item is simply a dream to work with in the garden. I love to support small businesses and Lyndsey’s store perfectly fulfils my need for natural and well-made goods. She ships internationally too!

La is a designer, blogger at, stylist and photographer. She lives in a little cottage in Scotland and loves baking, drinking coffee, and cats. When she is not photographing beautiful things she can be found collecting kitchen paraphernalia and wearing stripes.