Gardening: Tool Box: The pro has the edge

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The Independent Online
STUART GILHAM is the eternally cheerful professional who helps my wife to make Tool Box Towers' garden a joy to behold. No fewer than a dozen lawn mowers identify him as a man with a serious interest in the nuts-and-bolts of horticulture. This week he rolled up with a petrol-engined John Deere E35 edger in the back of his Ford P100 pickup truck.

'Just trying it out,' he explained as we started experimenting with the multitude of depth, height and tilt settings that make it a versatile and convenient machine. Bending and stretching are reduced to a minimum, because most of the controls are within two or three inches of its handles.

Heavy rain had made conditions far from ideal, but the overall impression was favourable enough for Stuart to add the edger to his collection. Its status as a 'professional' implement is underlined by the official price of pounds 573.40. However, Stuart offered a useful tip, having negotiated a 20 per cent discount. 'This is the time of year to buy all manner of equipment,' he said. 'Dealers need to sell stuff that wasn't sold during the summer, so get your haggling boots on]'

John Deere Ltd, Harby Road, Langar, Nottingham NG13 9HT (0949 60491).