A Wizard for You

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For the Spring cleaning of your landscape,
what you really need is a Wizard.

This Wizard is a Rake.

Wizard and Merlin Rakes

In some ways, just after snow melt is a very good time to work in the landscape. The plants have not yet sent up many greens, so it would appear that one could make quick work of the winter twigs and general bed cleaning. The problem is, with how moist everything may be, even walking around needs to be light footed. For the tender things just emerging from under the earths surface, the only safe way to clean is with gentle hands.

The good news is that having a Wizard or Merlin rake is pretty much like having a gentle hand with a great many fingers on a very long arm. Their rubber tines can run along surfaces, barely disturbing the plants or the earth below.
With their help, you can accomplish your early cleaning goals without nearly as much bending over or kneeling as hand work requires. Not quite as amazing as a flying broom, but for a gardener, somewhat magical.

Early in the year in our zone 5b and many other northern ecotomes, normal rakes are typically out of the question because any plants that are just about to emerge and unfurl their leaves are easily harmed. With some kinds of plants, those first leaves last much of the year. If you slice into them, you run the risk of somewhat spoiling their appearance for a long while.
Another problem with the metal rakes is that shallow rooted plants, seedlings and seeds may be dislodged just as they are trying to root.

In early spring in our ecotome the ground is moist, so even grass can get ripped up easily.
Whereas normal metal leaf rakes have to wait for some more drying out of the earth, you can get a jump start on the season if you have a gentle rubbery rake.

I have the 10” wide one, called a Merlin rake, which is often called upon for work around established plants throughout the season. One of mine has been going for at least 15 years….even after all this time the rubbery tines  and the frame are fine….if now paintless.
The wider 20″ version of this rake, called a Wizard, makes fast work of larger scale places like the lawns, woodlands and paths.

 Both sizes are indispensable.

Once upon a time, Smith and Hawken also made a shorter handled version of the Merlin rake. Now, if you have close work to do, as in a raised bed or rock garden setting, you might consider cutting a long handled Merlin a bit shorter, to whatever length best suits your circumstances – and your comfortable reach. At least that’s what I did.

Clarington Forge carries Wizard and Merlin rakes and I am so glad they do. Their company represents quality.

Children and Grandchildren can freely use these soft and safe rakes.
Here, they consider the short one to be their own rake, but we share.

windowsill grasses

 My Best,
Ellen Cool

ELLEN COOL
STONE GARDEN DESIGNS INC.
781 856 5600
stonegardendesignsinc@gmail.com
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