About Janice

Welcome all to Cool Gardening Tools. I began gardening when I was seven and my father built a platform for my brother and me to ride behind his tractor. Once in place on this platform, he would move slowly forward and I would plop down a gladiola bulb every few inches.

That was more than five decades ago and while not a modern, high tech automated planter, it was plain fun! Over the years living at home, we planted flowers and veggies in rich black soil and everything grew like wild. I thought gardening was easy.

But, fast-forward five decades and I retired to move to an area that had red clay. And I found out, gardening, while still fun could have amazing challenges, too. I had to spend a lot of time talking to a lot of people while researching constantly on the Internet and reading a ton of books so that I could learn all over again how to garden – maybe even garden like a wizard!


While I started gardening at a very early age, I stopped for a career and family along the way. With a high demand job as an educator (English teacher to counselor to college professor in educational technology – but that is a different story) which required hours and hours of work after work, I never had time to get back to gardening. I mostly forgot what I knew – except I remembered the magic time spent gardening with my dad when I was young.

Through the years, though, I did become interested in healthy eating and I knew the foods we were getting in the grocery store were not the healthiest options for my family to eat. Nor were they the tastiest. As we all know, nothing tastes better than that tomato you pick off the vine and eat that evening.

In 2015, I became quite ill and even more concerned about healthy eating. I was able to retire and decided to move to the country and learn as much as I could about gardening. The area I moved to, however, had bright red clay soil instead of rich black earth. So, I had much to learn and a long journey I am still following.


Learning about gardening has been fun and challenging and riddled with mistakes. I joined the local Master Gardeners Association and in classes, I wondered how anything I planted that first year even lived. Several years later, I make fewer mistakes and more things live and even thrive.

I want to share what I have learned with everyone – hopefully to encourage everyone to consider (and possibly stick with) gardening – even if just a small raised bed in the back yard.

It can be frustrating and as you are learning, it can be easy to just give up. But, as I heard from one of my instructors in Master Gardeners, “To be a good gardener, you need to kill more plants.” So onward I move and worry less that everything I plant doesn’t live.


Hopefully, this site will encourage you to go forth and kill more plants – so that you, too, can become a gardening wizard. I will be sharing what I have learned from others and what you need to make gardening fun.

If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out. Or, you can send a private question to me at Janice@coolgardeningtools.com.

All the best,


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