Edible Ink: The Savvy Home Gardener's Favorite Tools
Haws Watering Can: the balance of these cans has never been matched--they are available in plastic, but a copper one makes the ultimate gardener gift.
Rake: a big plastic leaf rake is useless in the garden, unless you have a lawn. Opt for a tiny hand rake--the bamboo rakes will grab everything if the curved ends are left on, but prune the ends for a perfect tool for getting amongst the shrubbery.
Felco #2 Pruners: no other pruners match them--a pair will easily last 15 years.
Garden Fork: you should have two, to divide perennials--use back to back and pry plants apart.
Garden Scissors: for cutting twine, flowers, trimming--have several pairs on hooks around the garden so there's always one close at hand.
A Long Thin Trowel: is best for planting small bulbs, like iris and narcissus.
Mesh Gloves with Rubber Grips: great for gardening--they let your hands breathe while protecting them from punctures--also handly for de-shedding the cat.
A Pot of Sand with Oil In It: is a must for storing tools over the winter. Oil the handles with Linseed Oil at the end of the year, and put the metal blades into the sand until spring.
Dandelion Weeder: you must get the full taproot or you'll get a new plant, double the size.
Waxed String: for tying hearty plants--lasts through the wettest conditions, and the wax means it holds its knots tightly.
Jute*: is soft and won't cut through tender stems (*string too short to be of any use is good to leave out for nesting birds).
DO NOT use wooden tools for prying rocks or roots out, they don't bend, they snap--have a PRY BAR at hand.
*A Tip: never, ever buy a cheap tool--you will bend and break 6 of them, and then go grumbling to buy the quality tool you should have purchased in the first place. A good tool, treated properly, may outlast you.
A Word to the Wise: every gardener should get a tetanus shot every 10 years.