The Collector’s Guide to Antique Garden Tools 

 May 18, 2022

By  admin

The antique garden tools that were once available only to the wealthy now take on more and more functionality. The simplicity of these tools is what makes them so popular, with many users enjoying their aesthetic value as well.

The “old garden tools worth money” is a book that gives an overview of the different types of antique garden tools. The author, John D. Nichols, has also written about gardening and horticulture for over 30 years.

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Antique gardening equipment, whether vintage Pitchforks, steel Cans for Watering, or rusty garden hoes, have a certain beauty and allure. In the hands of the competent gardener, they may be a stunning addition to a cherished yard, providing a rustic feel.

We’ll go through the whys, hows, and whats of owning antique garden equipment, as well as what to search for and how much you can anticipate to spend, in this post. 

Antique Garden Tool Applications

Despite their age, vintage garden equipment may be utilized for a variety of purposes. The major reason to purchase vintage garden tools is for aesthetic reasons, as they provide an aged air to your perennials and evergreens.

Vintage Packets of seeds and ancient tools, for example, may offer a distinctive touch to your backyard hideaway when put strategically around the garden. 

Many vintage garden tools, despite their pleasing aesthetic appeal, remain usable in the field, some having particular functions or outstanding build-quality that has enabled them to remain useful throughout the decades. Everything from traditional potato scoops to asparagus knives is made specifically for their intended use. 

So, if you’re searching for a piece of classic botanic engineering to add to your yard, here are some of our favorites and suggestions. 

Decorative Items

Decorative Items are intended to liven up your garden and usher in a feeling found in the 18th and 19th centuries. Not only are these pieces of memorabilia great talking places, but they also look amazing when paired with a thought out and intimate garden space. 

Cans for Watering

$50 – $600 on average

Vintage Cans for Watering are typically made of steel or aluminum, with a distinct shape and presence that will add charm to a garden wall or a small patio patch. More expensive models, typically consisting of a copper or brass finish, can set you back anywhere between $100 – $600.

These are a solid choice for the avid antique collector. It’s also worth looking for local flea markets or swap-meets to hunt for a bargain as few know the true value of old Cans for Watering. 

Packets of seeds

Vintage Packets of seeds can still be found and are sought after for their classic designs, beautiful art, and dated look. Collecting Packets of seeds can be an enjoyable endeavor, as many countries had their own distinct artwork.

American Packets of seeds, usually from the early 20th century, can cost anywhere between $5 – $20 depending on the condition. European packets, usually, from the 18th century and onwards, can fetch anywhere from $30 – $70 a pack due to their collectability.

The exquisite artwork seen on French designs makes them an especially prized collector’s item.

Plant Containers

$5 – $200 on average

One of the truly useful antique garden items, vintage Plant Containers can be a real gem in the garden. Typically ornate with handcrafted quality, older Plant Containers can be found with excellent craftsmanship and decorations that will add a unique touch to your backyard.

These come in a wide range of materials, from copper planters to Victorian ceramics. It’s a discussion starter, and it’ll continue to be a conversation starter if it’s displayed prominently. 

Antique Garden Tools That Work

You don’t have to live an Amish lifestyle to benefit from some of these skills.

Many of these items were constructed using a straightforward method that might still be beneficial in certain gardens. Other tools are much like their contemporary equivalents, but with better build quality and more durable materials. 

Berry Picking Equipment

Berry pickers, which were predominantly seen in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries, were a very handy equipment for removing berries off a bush. Antique versions are a delightful experience and are just as practical as modern ones, which are often composed of plastic.

These will also look beautiful among your berry-producing bushes, providing an incentive to spend some time harvesting your crop. 

Gardening Tool

There are many options when it comes to antique digging spades, whether it’s the design or function of the spade or the metal quality of the blade.

Old Marsh spades and Rabbiters might be expensive, but they are quite handy for trench digging. Large-headed spades, on the other hand, make quick work of digging holes.

If you’re thinking about buying an antique spade, think about what you’ll use it for and if you simply want it as a decoration. 

Antique Secateurs and Shears

Because secateurs overtook sheers in the nineteenth century, antique sheers are difficult to come by these days. Spring sheers may cost anywhere from $200 to $300 depending on their condition, but they’re still a lovely way to prune and trim your hedges. 

Secateurs, on the other hand, are a little more costly, but they may be obtained with good build quality and materials. French models, in particular, may be meticulously crafted, making them both ornamental and functional. 


Dibbers are a tool that is used to dig tiny holes for seeds or bulbs, and they are widely available nowadays. These cylindrical stabbers will map the ground for you with ease, allowing you to get on with your stitching.

Scythes, Antique

No antique collection is complete without something that harvests the garden’s bounty in a particularly extravagant manner. Scythes for gardening contain all about farming before the twentieth century, with wheat being the most common crop.

Outside of a farm, you may not have much use for this, but it’s a fun toy for the farmer. Also, throw on a huge black cloak and grab your scythe for a quick Halloween costume – adaptability at its best. 


Pitchforks, like the scythe, come to mind when one thinks of a typical farm or garden. Pitchforks are still handy for getting hay bails or grass clumps up, and they may be beneficial for the aspiring gardener. Antique pitchforks are great to have in the garden and provide a vintage vibe to the space. 

Gardeners all over the globe are becoming interested in antique artifacts for their gardens; it’s a way of adding something unique to a garden in a world when everyone is relying on trends and guidelines to make their garden interesting, with old equipment providing that additional touch. 

If you’re looking for more ways to make your garden stand out, have a look at our landscaping ideas to see how you can make your yard the best it can be.

The “classic english garden tools” is a book that discusses antique garden tools. The author of the book, Joe Fennell, goes into detail about each tool and how they were used in different parts of history.

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Emil Schoene

Born and raised in Austin, TX I come from a background of home renovation. By helping my family in my younger years with their construction business, I learned the ropes quickly and as I grew it became my passion that I still do today. Looking to share my knowledge with others. I invite you to leave comments on any post as I know you will have questions that you are not finding anywhere else.

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