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The Garden Museum Competition

When we were in France we visited a lovely couple, Steve and Chris. He’s an antique dealer and she works as a gardener. Their interests come together with a collection of old gardening tools and equipment that Chris has amassed.

They’ve a lovely old house that they have done up and a huge barn that is full of what appears to be junk to the untrained eye at first glance until you realise how old the junk is. Bicycles from the early 1900s for example.

Chris’s section has box upon box of hand tools, large tools upon more large tools. Digging forks with a spring attachment to lever the soil, spades of all shapes and sizes and rakes in various widths.

She’s got over 70 apple picking devices. Designed to be operated with a string to a lever on the end of a long pole they could pick the perfect apple from the top of a tall tree and bring it safely un-bruised to the ground. Redundant now with dwarfing rootstock trees in orchards designed for mechanical cultivation.

She also collects watering cans. I don’t mean those cheapo plastic cans we have nowadays but galvanised cans and even copper cans.

Pride of her watering can collection has to be including an 18th C copper can decorated with rain clouds, peasants and a royal fleur de leys. Quite a find, that. You can imaging liveried gardeners hurrying back and forth between butt and plant ensuring that Marie Antoinette only ever saw perfect blooms. Retiring quietly into the background when the nobility appeared, unaware of the effort that had gone in to provide their perfect surroundings.

She did mention that one day she might even open a garden museum to display her collection complete with explanatory tags. You can find photos of the watering cans in the photo section – Allotment Photographs June 2007

The Garden Museum Competition

Now one box contain quite a number of the item in the photo below. So here’s the competition – can you guess what it is? The prize is a round of applause! Just use the comments box below to enter. I couldn’t work it out and had to be told.

old and unusual gardening tool

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
10 comments on “The Garden Museum Competition
  1. shaun says:

    john they are onion/garlic pickers

  2. John says:

    Near Shaun near but not quite right 🙂

  3. Tom says:

    Shallot dividers (is there such a thing?)

  4. John says:

    I don’t know if there is such a thing but that’s not what they are – tricky one isn’t it?

  5. Margaret says:

    Could it possibly be a rouging iron for rouging out weeds from crop or border?

  6. John says:

    Afraid not – good idea though!

  7. madeleine Dancey says:

    Parsnip pullers?

  8. John says:

    Getting warmer 🙂 Not quite there

  9. jimmy1954 says:

    swede or beetroot pullers ?

  10. John says:

    And we have a winner!!! Huge round of applause from the massed crowds.
    They are for harvesting beetroot (that’s what I was told anyway)

    Well done and thanks to all the guessers.

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