Maybe it's a sign of aging, but it seems that many people just don't fix things anymore. And who can blame them – advances in technology and production have moved many consumer products (electronics and power tools in particular) into the realm of disposables; products are either too complex to repair or so inexpensively made that they're not worth the effort. Consumption is slowly becoming our only option, and there's an entire generation that's missing out on the experience of exercising a manual skill to create (or preserve) value.
Fortunately, that's just not the case in the garden, where it's still what you do with your mind and your hands that matters most. That isn't to say that there aren't tools that will make a particular task easier or that can help perform a job in less time, but there are few products that can credibly promise to make you a better gardener.
The best gardeners seem to be those who have developed the discipline, commitment, planning, patience, foresight and even cunning to deal with the myriad problems and challenges that arise on a regular basis. It's an activity that lets you make the small fixes that result in big "saves".
Perhaps that's a large part of the cachet of gardening: it's an activity without lasers, chips, electronics, or obsolescence. Gardening not only acknowledges your inner Luddite, but keeps it nourished as well... and the purchase of an odd hand tool here and there doesn't hurt either.
Robin C. Lee