Getting a grip on grooming your backyard means picking up particular essentials that will be used all year round in sunny Los Angeles. Since the growing season never seems to stop in the City of Angels, certain sturdy staples to be used over and over again are the basis for growing a good garden shed. Equip the shed with these essential materials to get spring started right.

Here Comes the Sun

Hours: Mon to Sat -9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun. -10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The sun nearly always shines in Los Angeles, but that doesn’t mean sitting under this unprotected light is a smart move. In fact, a hat designed to protect the head from glare and potential heatstroke can be found in the types worn by Southeast Asian landscapers, many of whom beautify our city in a variety of ways. Take a cue from those who were born with green thumbs and pick up a conical head topper from Bunkado in Little Tokyo. Bunkado is a family-owned store that’s been located downtown for more than six decades and the price of the hat is a scant $12.50.

Deep Knee Bends

Hours: See schedule

Putting stress on your knees all day long while laboring in your yard can cause wear and tear on the joints. Studio A Dance owner Bill Brown, who studied in Southern California to be a landscaper, suggests using a yoga mat when gardening to soften the strain on your knees. Having the yoga mat as a cushion also allows you to kneel for longer periods of time. One of the best yoga mats for this purpose comes from a Larchmont Village boutique that’s part of the Center for Yoga, a teaching institution. There you’ll find the Jade Harmony version that costs $40 and is water-resilient. No kneeling garden groomer could ask for more.

Talk About Handy

Hours:  Mon to Sun -8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For proper gardening gloves, go straight to a good nursery to buy a pair. Armstrong Garden Center boasts 31 locations in the Golden State and has been the go-to California institution for all things plants and planting accessories since 1889. A chat with a salesperson in the Santa Monica store unearthed a pair of hardy hand protectors specifically made for cutting roses that costs $40 and that will last a lifetime of pruning and primping your colorful blooms. Another argument for making an Armstrong purchase: personal shoppers are on hand to offer expertise on all gardening goals and objectives. Appointments are available through the website.

Rake Not Break

Hours: Mon to Fri -7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat -8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun  -9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Leaves aren’t as much of a problem in Los Angeles as getting the ground to line up and readying it for planting. The person in charge at Baller Hardware, a popular find located on the border of Los Feliz and Silver Lake, recommended buying a bow rake. The heavy duty implement is made out of steel so it doesn’t flex like a typical garden rake. It’s best used for more aggressive jobs to provide much better results than a standard rake. The cost is a mere $20 for the most sturdy of this lot.

Digging In

Hours: Mon to Fri -7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

No Southland shed should be without a quality shovel for any number of gardening tasks. A staffer at family owned and operated Anzen Hardware situated downtown recommended picking the pointy variety. Equipped with a long handle for digging holes, this will allow you to ready the ground for putting in large plants (cost: $12.95). This particular tool will work on the hardened ground in Los Angeles yards, so get ready for your lawn to be beautified.

Los Angeles freelance travel writer Jane Lasky, contributes to publications such as Travel + Leisure, Vogue and Esquire. Her weekly sojourning column ran in 40 newspapers for 20 years. Jane is anything but an accidental tourist. Check out her articles on

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