My love of gardening began when I was about 14 years old.  My mom was a seasoned gardener, however she always planted the same flowers every spring.  Nasturtiums, geraniums and petunias in a mix of red, orange and yellow.  I loved blue and white flowers, so I began buying my own seeds and planting them here and there in her garden.  Surprise, surprise when they popped up and even a bigger surprise when they began to take over her garden like nicotiana.  My mom was not happy about that one and I was then limited on what I could plant.  Skip forward to the age of 26 when my husband and I purchased our first home on a quarter acre.  I was so excited to be able to do whatever I wanted without causing my mom extra work if one of my garden experiments went sideways.  Skip forward 32 years and I have now landscaped 13 yards and loved every moment of it.  I have had successes and plenty of failures and today I would like to share with you the best garden products you can purchase for your garden.

Full planter of Cosmos Apricotta

Before I jump into all the goods, please note that I will have links to products throughout this post and a summary of many products at the end of the post. For some of the products, should you decide to purchase them I will receive a small commission. Receiving this commission is what allows me to bring free content to you and please know that I am very grateful for your support! Ok so let’s get on with all these great buys for your garden.

The Must Haves:

Let’s start with the absolute must haves to have a successful garden.

Soil and compost

I like to think of soil in a garden like a foundation on a house.  If you don’t start with good materials and build it properly you will never have a stable home.  While I saw my mom amending her soil with mushroom manure, I didn’t give it much thought.  Her garden was lush, everything grew fast, remained healthy and she had such high yields of vegetables and flowers.  She nursed almost dead trees and plants back to life with great soil mixed with well decomposed mushroom manure.  The original soil that she was working with had a lot of clay in it and of course that is not going to be a great base for a garden.  

Old road flanked by large evergreens at sunset
This is part of my mom’s garden – look how lush and healthy all of her trees are

Finally, after many failed or lack luster gardens, I came around to realizing that the health of the soil is very important and it is also important to feed it yearly.

Start with getting your soil tested and learn what it is deficient in. Once you know, you will know what to add to make your plants happy and live their best life!

As well, when filling your planters opt for good quality soil along with compost and fertilizer appropriate for what you are growing.

Round raised garden bed with soil in it

In our town, our city has a program where they mix waste water from our septic plants (after it has been treated) with soil.  I have heard that this soil is high in pharmaceuticals so you do not want to use this type of soil in your veggie garden.  I don’t even want to use it in my flower garden because I grow edible flowers and I don’t always use gloves.  

Get on a local facebook gardening group and ask where you can find quality soil, compost and fertilizer.  Gardeners have the best hearts and always want to help plus they care about the health of others and the planet, so they give the best tips.  You can always check your local garden center too.

Fencing – Arbour, gate and trellis

Whether for decoration or to keep animals out, fencing is high on my list of priorities.  In the Okanagan where I live, we have a thriving deer population and they can jump really high, so we need a minimum of 6 foot high fencing.  That height of fencing can be unattractive so we purchased Vita’s weather resistant vinyl trellis panels.  We have had them up for about 4 years and they look as good as the day we got them.  We also got their arbour with gate and it is so pretty.  Click this link for the arbor. Click this link for a trellis to ours but nicer.

White trellis with arbour and gate

Where the deer cannot jump, because the garden is up on a 4 foot retaining wall due to the slope of the land, Bentley built me the cutest picket fence.  

White picket fence with pink cosmos poking through

There are many options for fencing and gates, so pick one that compliments your home and garden.

Irrigation

I grew up watering our garden by hand.  This wasn’t necessary all the time because we were living just outside of rainy Vancouver.  After moving to the Okanagan which is semi-arid (has little rain but is not completely dry) watering a garden by hand is a time consuming activity.  Thankfully, Bentley knows all about installing irrigation. He has installed drip irrigation (to save water) in my flower gardens and even my vegetable gardens.

Having an irrigation system that comes on during the night for properly prescribed amounts of time to water each different type of plant properly is such a gift.  Spraying with water can be such a waste but drip irrigation uses very little water.

Our system is a combination of individual drips along with drip lines (ie a thin piece of irrigation line with multiple holes along it) which we have zig-zagged through the flower beds to water multiple flowers at once.  I find that drip irrigation not only targets the individual plants, saves water and also saves on weeding because very specific areas of the soil are watered which keeps potential weeds from being watered like a spray irrigation would do.

Good garden tools

Most gardeners have a lot of the tools as do I, but here is a list of my must have garden tools are:

  • flat shovel for scooping up soil, gravel, compost, etc.
  • tree planting shovel with a pointed end
  • trench shovel which is a shovel with a very narrow end.  I like to use this one in small spaces and also in between pavers or stepping stones, etc.  Basically I like it because it fits in smaller, narrower areas.
  • full sized rake
  • small rake to get in between shrubs to remove leaves and debris
  • cheap gardening gloves and one pair of high quality gloves.  I use my cheap gloves on a day to day basis for planting seedlings, weeds, etc.  Try as I might, they get dirty on the inside and wear out so of they are cheap I don’t mind throwing them away. I save my good garden gloves when working with thorny plants where I need extra protection.
  • a hori hori knife for breaking up soil, cutting branches and vines where needed and measuring the depth of seeds when planting. The one below in the photo is so durable and well designed. Just click here if you would like to learn more about it.
Sproutbox Garden hori hori knife

Early seed starting equipment

If you live in a colder climate, getting a head start on growing seeds in late winter or early spring is a nice way to ensure a longer growing period and more flowers!  Plus when you start in the late winter, it gives you the feel of being in the garden even though it is still cold outside.

I will be writing a full post on seed starting and will link it here so you can have in-depth details. In the meantime, the items you will need are:

  • seed trays of varying sizes.  If you want to start a lot of seeds, smaller seed trays with tinier openings allow you to sow the smallest of seeds like poppies and snapdragons without wasting a lot of soil.  Depending on how soon you start them, you may need to transplant them into a larger cell.
White small pot on top of black seed cells
  • seed starting soil.  If you are growing just a few seeds you can buy the seed starting soil, but if you are growing alot, I would suggest buying a big container of Pro-Mix Biostimulant Mycorrhizae Growing Medium.  The problem I found with seed starting soil was that it had large chunks of wood in it, but Pro-Mix is very fine and as a result it can fit into the smaller cells.  Even with the bigger cells having big chunks of wood is a pain.  I used wire mesh and sifted the soil through it to remove the larger chunks of wood.  You will not have that problem with Pro-Mix. The other option is to create your own seedling mix with 2 parts peat moss, 1 part vermiculite and 1 part perlite. If you have well decomposed compost you could always add that too.
Pro-Mix seed starting medium
Pro-Mix seed starting medium (very fine)
Wire screen over seed cells
Wire screen over seed cells if your soil has big chunks of wood in it
  • grow light.  You can purchase grow lights as part of a hydroponic systems or you can simply purchase shop lights. I thought true grow lights were a must but after taking an in-depth gardening course, I learned otherwise. Make sure to have the lights down close the seeds so that when they start growing that they don’t get leggy and weak as they are trying to grow fast to reach the light.
  • heat mat.  To speed up germination invest in heat mats but make sure you get the kind that have a thermometer on them to keep the soil at the right temperature for whatever you are growing.
  • shelving.  Of course, sturdy shelving is required if you are starting a lot of seeds.  I like the large chrome wire shelving from Costco with wheels.  
  • good quality seeds.  Do your research and invest in good quality seeds from reputable growers for the best results.  My preferred seed companies are Floret, Johnny’s, Trailing Petunia and Renee’s.
Favorite seed packets from Johnny's, Floret and Renee's

The Fundamentals

Next up on the best garden purchases fall into the category of fundamentals. You can have a garden with all of the above items, but if you want to take it a step further and up your gardening game, these items are the next ones that I would add.

Gravel for paths

There are a number of options for pathways in gardens such as grass, bark mulch, pavers, gravel, wood slats, stepping stones, etc.  We have tried them all and my favorite is drainage rock gravel.  The reason I like it is because it looks fantastic, it is less expensive than many other options, it keeps down the weeds, it is easy to keep clean with a leaf blower, and it provides great drainage so that surface water drains away and your shoes stay dry.   It is a great choice if you do not have the budget for something more expensive like pavers. Pavers or old bricks as a pathway would be my number 1 choice due to the ambience they create.  Unfortunately, I always must consider my budget so when all things are considered drainage rock gravel is my go to choice for paths.

Metal Raised Garden Beds

For many years we have had raised garden beds made of wood.  They are fine, but after a while they break down and decay so they don’t last a long time.  The other problem is that rodents, like marmots (groundhogs) can climb them and then destroy everything you have growing in them.

Last year, my continual battles with marmots ended when Sproutbox Garden gifted me with 32″ tall metal raised garden beds.  They were a complete lifesaver for my garden as we faced an infestation of hungry marmots moving in as they developed a taste for all my sweet seedlings.  The metal sides of the raised beds made it impossible for them to climb and as such the flowers in those areas were saved.  

If you are interested in these raised garden beds, just click here and be sure to use my SVA10 code to get 10% off of your purchase.

Four raised garden beds with flowers in them and lake in background

The other beauty of these tall raised garden beds is that they are very easy on your back and knees.  They are at the perfect level to grow flowers and start a vegetable garden.  If you are interested in purchasing your own I have a discount code SVA10 – just use that at the check out.  If you would like to read my whole post on putting these garden beds together, just click here.

Raised garden beds with sherbet colored snapdragons growing

Even though the garden beds are tall, we did not fill them from top to bottom with soil.  In some we created a ledge and only had soil for the last 12 inches, in others we filled the base with branches, tree rounds, etc. which provides for well-drained soil.

Metal raised garden beds comes in lots of different sizes so if you have a small space or a large space to fill, I am sure you will find the right landscape bed for you!

Lighting

Most of us spend the daylight hours in our gardens, but don’t forget about the evenings as that can be one of the loveliest times to stroll through your garden.  To do so, however, you will want to invest in some lighting.  

Mason jars on picket fence

My two favorite forms are solar lights and string lights.  There are so many options for solar lights and they are easy to operate.  Everything from tiny twinkle lights, to mason jar lights, to decorative moon solar lights, lightning bug lights, colorful lights, etc.  With solar lights because there is no wiring, it is very simple to move them around and create the best atmosphere.

Crescent moon solar lights

My next favorite is overhead string lighting which can assist with lighting a large area.  We have string lights in our courtyard, over our pool, under out deck roof and around our greenhouse.  The warm glow that they cast is inviting and allows you to see your garden at a different time of day.  I find that evenings can be the most fragrant time of day in the garden which is one of my absolute favorite parts of my garden.  Breathing in sweet honeysuckle or rich peony fragrances is pure bliss.

String lights over garden with a greenhouse

Cattle guard for arbours

Pre-made arbours can be expensive and they usually aren’t that wide.  When we got our raised garden beds, I wanted to create a long tunnel of vines so I had to find something better.  Thankfully I have a husband who can source out just about any type of material to get the job done.  He picked up cattle guard at a local wholesale fencing company and then cut the pieces to fit the different sides of the raised garden beds.  It created the perfect arch all on it’s own and then was strong enough to support all sorts of vigorously growing vines.

Sunset behind raised garden beds

Greenhouse

Some may think a greenhouse should be in the category of “best garden splurges” because they are a higher-ticket item.  However, greenhouses can come in so many different forms, sizes and prices so I have put them as a “Must have”.  

We couldn’t afford to purchase a greenhouse, so I scoured garage and estate sales and picked up every old window or piece of glass I could find.  Bentley then painstakingly pieced them all together into my sweet greenhouse that we call “Annie” after my late mother-in-law.  If you want to read the whole story about “Annie” just click here.

Greenhouse with lake in the background

If you don’t have the ability to build a greenhouse, consider a pre-fabbed one from Costco or Home Depot.  Should that be out of reach at the moment, then consider a poly enclosure shelving system.  They all work and will allow you to get your seeds growing sooner than direct seeding them into the soil.  A jump start on the gardening season is so satisfying.

The Best Garden Splurges

Now for the fun stuff – the splurges!  Some of these really could go in the “Fundamentals” but there were more common alternatives for them so I put a few of them as a splurge.  The first one fits is a great example of this because it is incredibly helpful but there are other work arounds.  So let’s dive in and have some fun!

Obelisk

For years I have struggled with finding the proper support for my climbing roses.  I have tried arbours, fences and trellises and while they were pretty good during the summer they were dreadful during our cold winters.  Then I found this lovely black obelisk and it has solved all the problems I was having.  

Black obelisk in a garden with a lake in the background

First, it encircles the rose so it provides support on all sides and still looks great.  No need to tying the branches to the supports anymore.  Secondly, they look great with their tall and flowing shape.  Lastly, in the winter I struggled to wrap burlap or other forms of freezing protection around an arbour or trellis which is next to impossible. Now all I have to do is wrap the insulated tarp around the outside of the obelisk and voila my roses had full protection.

Eden rose in garden

Trug

For years, I struggled with heading out to cut a few flowers and then coming in with armloads precariously balanced in my arms.  Then my lovely daughter gifted me with a garden trug. Now I have the perfect basket to carry the flowers without them breaking. It is also so pretty and picture perfect!  Just look at all the lavender it was able to hold!  It truly was the perfect gift for me.

Lavender in a trug on a bench in a garden

Garden bags

These little inventions are something that I just learned of recently.  Made of durable felt, these growing bags can be hung on walls, fences, arbours, trellises, etc.  They are inexpensive, durable and just the right size for holding enough soil to allow the plant to grow.

Green felt vertical planter with plants inserted

We are using them to cover the entrance to the reception area for Jenna’s wedding.  I have planted them up in our house nice and early. They will have plenty of growing time and hopefully will be blooming right on time.

Wind spinner

This item is definitely not necessary, but my goodness is it ever mesmerizing.  I love seeing it just spinning in the wind fast or slow.

Blue and brown wind spinner

Weathervane

A weathervane can be functional to determine the direction of the wind. It can also be decorative like the gorgeous one my son got me for Christmas one year.  There are so many varieties that I am sure you will find the perfect one for you!  It was such a great gift!

Items that are on my wish list:

Ask any gardener and I doubt you will find one that says they have everything. I, for one, am not anywhere close to finishing by garden. When money allows, these are the next items I would like to purchase for my garden:

  • Rain barrel
  • A larger greenhouse that is heated
  • More raised garden beds
  • Soil testing kit
  • Really nice large white planters for my front door
  • Wood obelisk
  • Cherry, peach and apricot trees

Thank you

Thank you for sticking around to the end.  I hope enjoyed learning about my best garden products post and that my experience will help you with any purchases you will need to make for your garden.  

A garden is beyond pretty flowers or delicious fruits and vegetables. It is an oasis or sanctuary that can heal your soul, rejuvenate your spirit and expand your creativity.  Some people think that a garden is all hard work, but they are so wrong.  A garden gives back in so many ways, beyond what you could ever imagine.

Happy gardening!

Shop the Post

Below are photos of products with links to the actual products. Should you decide to purchase something, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. This commission is what allows me to continue to bring free content here. Thank you so very much for your support.

Looking for more inspo?

Have you checked out my post all about creating outdoor garden spaces? If not, just click here.

Two young people sitting in front of a fire with a round garden planter curving around them

How about bringing the garden in to your powder room? Click here and I will show you how!

Blue Wild Meadow garden wallpaper wall mural by Photowall in a powder room

What about this great post on creating a unique wall planter? Just click here to learn all the details.

Wall planter mid season with plants filling in. Hung on solid rock wall.

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