Country Life Every Week - - In The Garden -

An an­cient im­ple­ment, the spade is a man­ual plough for in­vert­ing the soil —16th-cen­tury il­lus­tra­tions show it with its blade formed of wood and shod with iron. The mod­ern spade has its blade of steel, sub­tly curved, per­haps with a shoul­der to pro­tect the sole of the thrust­ing boot. It’s cun­ningly at­tached to a shaft of ash, with a han­dle in one of three forms ac­cord­ing to taste: the sim­ple T, the now old-fash­ioned D and my favourite, the Y, the end of the shaft riven and uni­formly curved to fit the ends of the cross-piece. Ne­ver­bend stain­lesssteel spade, £24.99, The Gar­den Su­per­store (www.the­gar­den­su­per­; 01903 258200)

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