ARS Weeding Sickle

ARS Weeding Sickle – Nejiri Kama

In the winter 2016 I purchased the Nejiri Kama Weeding Sickle. The primary reason I selected this tool was for removing dead foliage from ornamental grasses and dried perennial stocks.

What I like about this sickle?

This small sickle is an efficient tool for removing expired foliage down to the plant basal foliage. The flat pointed tip (or toe) allows for precision when slicing into the soil to uproot weeds.

 
Sickles like a pruner have a sharp edge. It is important to keep the sickle sharp. If you allow the blade to dull you will notice it becomes less effective when cutting and slicing.

What is wrong with this sickle?

ARS Weeding Sickle - Nejiri Kama
ARS Weeding Sickle – Nejiri Kama

Typically, I work 5 to 6 days per week I use this sickle on a regular basis. In a season my tools get a lot of use. The sickle blade (chine) chips with use. Sharping the sickle will give you a good edge.

Would I purchase this sickle again?

Not sure, this is my first small sickle. It is the perfect size for various garden maintenance tasks. With or without chips this tool is handy. Wish it held up better to frequent use.

Summer Containers – Washington, DC

The National Arboretum

Often I am asked for my container planting “recipe”.  Location is my first planting ingredient followed by the container.  The plants are the last added ingredient.  I like to let the location and container inspire the plant selection.  These photos from The National Arboretum capture location, container and plant selection.
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Grass display gardens
 
Huge concrete containers are positioned throughout the grass and turf display gardens.  These containers are planted with grasses and millet.  Adding these simple planted containers gives the location visual layers.
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Furcraea foetida ‘Medio Picta’
The foliage of Furcraea foetida ‘Medio Picta’ appears to glow when positioned in front of a black wall.  The common terra cotta is a great container choice for this plant and location.
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Sedum and Nassella

 
This concrete perimeter wall extends the length of the walkway.  The wall has built-in containers that are planted with Sedum and Nassella.  This planting combination appears softens the look of the concrete and the Nassella billows in the slightest breeze.

Most of the time I think in terms of location, container, and then plants.  Sure there have been many times when I have purchased an unplanned container and a plant then spent a crazy amount of time scouting for the perfect location.  Not a problem there is always room for one more planted container.