A self-proclaimed “plant geek,” Cheryl received her Horticulture degree at Milwaukee Area Technical College. She spent many years working in the Otter Creek Landscape division and at John Michael Kohler Arts Center gardens. She’s now the office manager for The Wreath Factory and Otter Creek Landscape. Check out her blog for tips, travels and things that pop up in her garden.


Top 9 Things to Make Gardening Easier
by Cheryl Walsh - posted 05/31/14


Gardening season is in full swing and there is so much to do.  I thought I would share with you my favorite nine things that make gardening easier for me.  These are in no particular order but all are needed for a day in the garden for me.  The Ames cart is something I bought at the end of the season last year and at first wished it was bigger but find it turned out to be  just the right size.  I haul soil, bagged goods, plants,  debris, etc.  Next is the Spear Head Spade that I purchased at the Madison Garden Expo last year and it works great for any kind of digging.  The size is just right for me and allows me to easily dig into heavy clay soil.  The pop up bag, of which I have four of them, works great for having a container for nasty weeds and another for compostable materials.   When doing spring clean up of the landscape beds, I usually fill these up quite quickly.  They are also great to toss in your car when you go to volunteer garden at church or at a friend’s.


The soil knife is the greatest invention ever.  I use this to dig holes, remove weeds, cut things and also measure spacing when seed planting.  That dangerous looking blade is a sickle that works for cutting back perennials in spring or fall.  My friend,  who volunteers at Olbrich Botanical Gardens, discovered this from another volunteer.  I showed this item at one of our garden club meetings and our group ended up ordering 20 of them.  Gardening gloves are a must have to protect your hands.  I like the thinner ones that are washable.  The Felco pruners works great for pruning and once you try it, you will never go back to another one.  I do a lot of container planting and keep the potting soil in a very large container.  The scoop works great for moving soil from there to each container.  I found that in the farm supply area of a local store.



Last item of my top nine, is my work station in my landscape shed.  Right now you can’t see the surface but when this busy time is done, there is a very large work area.  This is great for creating containers, starting seedlings, organizing plant tags and storing plants until you are ready to plant them.

Well that was my top nine to make gardening easier for me.  What are your top nine?



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What’s on your Christmas List?
by Cheryl Walsh - posted 12/15/13

Kusakichi Saw Tooth Sickle #N2153

I am always looking for anything to making gardening a little easier so I thought I would share with you this must have gardening tool.  It is great for cutting down perennials in spring or fall as it is very sharp and works great on grasses and especially thick stemmed perennials like coneflowers.  It also saves wear and tear on your hand from overuse of a pruners.  My friend who volunteers at Olbrich Botanical Gardens learned about it from another volunteer a few years ago.  I first received one as a gift and since then have ordered several times for garden club friends and co-workers.  Most recently I ordered 20 of them for friends, gifts and to replace one of two of mine.  We were using them a few months ago when my husband misplaced his.  Since it is a light color it can easily get lost.  The other one we have, I had painted a bright pink color so it would not disappear and now I wish I would have painted the second one too.  Several of my gardening friends and relatives will be getting this for Christmas this year.  If you want more information on how to order one, check it out at this link.  http://www.hidatool.com/gardening/sickles

What's on your gardening Christmas list this year?

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