Spring is here, and so is the Smith & Expensive catalog. Smith & Hawken, of course, is the outfit that turned gardening into a fashion statement. They've gradually weeded out most seeds and plants from their line of goods and replaced them with outdoor furniture (Do you prefer "Avignon Lounging" or "Canterborough Lounging"?) and the likes of "bunny topiary." At $89 a bunny, it's a Chia Pet for the Lexus set.
Ah, but there are two pages of actual garden tools in the Spring Sale catalog. "Why Smith & Hawken tools?" asks the catalog. "A great partnership with an English toolmaker (in business for 200 years)." Sure enough, these carefully sculpted tools look like props for the help in country garden scenes on "Masterpiece Theater." The catalog provides handy descriptions for the kind of modern Americans who only develop calluses inside their Manolo Blahniks.
"Long-handled Shovel: For lifting and throwing gravel, compost, soil or sand." Who knew? For further instructions ask one of your Guatemalan lawn guys.
You can have your $59 shovel and your $39 "Perennial Hoe." My favorite new Smith & Hawken tool is the Dibber, an 11-inch carbon-steel pointy thing with a finely crafted wooden handle "to create small holes for planting seeds or small seedlings."
The dictionary says a "dibber" was originally called a "dibble," which comes, natch, from the Middle English "debylle." Whatever you call it, it costs $25 plus shipping so you can poke holes in the dirt.
As my wife says in Middle American: "I got sticks for that."