Garden designer Mark Lane reveals the tool every gardener should invest in

If your New Year's resolution is to get out into the garden more, this tool is worth investing in

gardening tools on a wooden bench
(Image credit: Getty / ATU Images)

New Year is the time to make resolutions, and if any of those involve gardening then this is the piece of kit worth investing in according to garden designer and presenter Mark Lane. 

Mark Lane is a UK-based garden designer and writer. He is one of the first garden designers in a wheelchair in the UK and has been a presenter on BBC's Gardeners' World since 2018. He is currently the resident gardening expert on BBC One’s Morning Live.

Speaking exclusively to Gardeningetc Mark Lane revealed that alongside the best garden spade it is worth investing in a perennial spade. The garden presenter says it is the one piece of gardening equipment he couldn't be without. 

'It has a shorter handle and a pointed blade, making it easier to get in a border among the perennial plants and put in new plants, dig up existing ones, or to plant bulbs,' he explains. 

Mark Lane at the Press Day for the first Autumnal RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Garden designer Mark Lane

(Image credit: Maureen McLean / Alamy Stock Photo)

If you already have a spade in your shed storage, you can still benefit from a perennial spade. Its pointed tip is designed to cut through roots to divide into new plants, with as little disturbance as possible to the plant.

The shorter handle also offers a better grip for digging while kneeling. It can also help solve the awkward height issue when digging in raised garden beds.

Mark Lane's personal favorite version is the Sneeboer Perennial Spade costing £56. 'I have the Sneeboer Perennial Spade,' says Mark. 'It has a firm wooden handle, sharp-pointed blade, and is beautifully hand-crafted.'

perennial spade

Perennial Spade, £56, Sneeboer & Zn

(Image credit: Sneeboer & Zn)

The spade measures 42cm in total, with 28cm of that making up the handle. The website says that is it equally suited to dividing shrubs, digging plant holes, and working in areas a full-size spade would be too cumbersome.

At the time of writing the Sneeboer spade had a waiting time of 6 to 8 weeks. However, if you're keen to get on with that gardening resolution sooner you can pick up an RHS endorsed Burgon and Ball Perennial Spade for £24.99 on Amazon.

Burgon & Ball Perennial Spade | £24.99, Amazon

Burgon & Ball Perennial Spade | £24.99, Amazon
The perennial spade is made from tempered stainless steel for easy cleaning. It has a pointed tip for cutting through roots easily and a T-shaped Ash wood shaft for a comfortable grip.

While the Sneeboer spade might command a hefty price tag of £56, many perennial spades start at £20. However, when choosing the right perennial spade take note of the material. You ideally need a strong, pointed metal head, and a wooden handle that is usually more comfortable to use than a metal one.

Will you be adding one of these to your New Year shopping list?

Rebecca Knight
Rebecca Knight

As the News Editor on Gardeningetc, Rebecca covers everything from the common mistake your making when pruning your roses, to handy tips about how to keep your houseplants alive. She has been covering all things gardening for two years across Homes & Gardens and Ideal Home. There isn't a single gardening trend that passes without her knowing about it. 


She's currently the proud owner of a thriving container garden on her small city balcony and a jungle of houseplants. Small gardens and container plants are her specialties.