Monday, June 10, 2013

Favorite Inappropriate Tool = $2 Scissors

My blog post today is about my love for my $2 scissors. It's a love/hate kind of relationship. I can't overuse them though or I get nasty blisters, because I never remember to wear gloves of course.   

While I do really have nice clippers and an electric edger, I often find that my cheap scissors works best, so I gravitate towards it as my favorite pruning tool.

My pruners often have a hard time cutting through delicate new plant growths, for example, Barberries. Which probably means my clippers needs to be tightened or sharpened or something else I'm too lazy to do. I hate cutting through a growth and it just sort of smashes and doesn't cut and then hangs off the plant.  The scissors works well for this.

While I do have an expensive electric edger from Home Depot, I do often use my scissors, to do my first lawn edge each spring. This gets me down to the level of the beds and I can easily remove my clippings (the power edger makes a mess of the bark and sometimes slices the edging).  This also gives me a chance to pull hidden weeds and I get to see all the plants up close and personal. It is murder on my knees though. Getting old is a bitch.   

Juniperus chinensis 'Old Gold'
I often use my scissors to thin out the growing ends of my junipers along the sidewalk.  This way I can thoughtfully remove excessive growth I don't want with without making them look overly sheared. The pointed scissors helps me only cut the parts I want to thin out. While the Junipers are ending up looking a little "boxy", they still have a furry appearance and are not perfectly flat.

I also find them useful in situations, where I am looking for a more sculpted look, but I am still thoughtful about not hacking leaves, and just cutting stems.  This works well for small leaved shrubs with wiry stems. 

Osmanthus delavayi
I often also use them in the pond (because i wouldn't want to get my expensive pruning clippers wet) to trim aquatic plants along with the ginormous Philips head screwdriver, I found buried in the ground. The screwdriver works great for making holes in overgrown waterlilies to insert fertilizer tablets. 

So what is your favorite inappropriate tool?


  1. Hands down it's the steak knife I use for cutting off agave arms (and appendages on other succulents), so perfectly handy for the job. Second place goes to an old screwdriver which is the perfect weeding companion.

  2. We use those scissors at work for nearly everything we do. They are invaluable.

  3. Your scissors are also quite photogenic! I use inexpensive scissors a lot too along with several knives (really only need one but I'm always misplacing things in my garden so watch where you step) which are really handy for cutting off old banana foliage.

  4. My hands are the gnarly old inappropriate tools of choice for most things, and getting gnarlier in the process.