Every garden toolkit needs one sharp knife, the ideal tool for tasks from cutting string to dividing plant roots.
Garden tools are very much a personal thing, like selecting a wallet. You need to find what works for you. I wouldn’t be without my aged Felco #2 hand pruners, for example. And the same goes for trowels or spades or loppers.
My go-to cutting tool is one of our grandfather’s bone-handled knives. It’s marked Joseph Rodgers & Sons, Cutlers to Her Majesty and the VR on the markings tells me the Majesty in question was Queen Victoria.
The edge of the blade is well worn from many sharpenings, most recently by me. I recall our Grandpa picking out the bones from his breakfast kippers with a knife like this – likely this very one.
This grandfather wasn’t a gardener, although his family roots were sunk deeply into the Shropshire soil. But he was married to our Gran, who lived to garden, all her life. Both were just a generation or two removed from the farm. When I take out my knife to cut twine for the roses or do surgery on a hosta, I never fail to think of Effy and Jack. I like having that in my toolkit.