What Happened to the Rake?

January 24, 2012

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By Bernadine Chapman-Cruz

Last week, when my newspaper landed on the roof, I searched the tool shed for a rake. I rummaged through shovels, hoes and push brooms, but nary a rake was to be found. In desperation, I grabbed a power washer wand to retrieve my Sunday paper.

I need a rake, I thought. But rather than making a trip to the garden center, I decided to look online.

Googling ‘rake’, I found: (noun) rake – a pronged instrument used to gather material such as leaves or (verb) loosening and smoothing ground surfaces.

Scrolling down, I was amazed at dozens of listings for rakes. I clicked on some hits and quickly realized that rakes had become specialized, designed for a specific task, and it seemed one rake did not infringe on another rake’s territory. I checked more rake options.

• Hand Rake – a small version of a rake used to work the soil or clear areas of debris

• Thatch Rake – lawn grooming tool to remove thatch or moss

• Lake Rake – used to skim the surface of a small body of water, i.e. lake, pool or pond of algae or vegetation

• Landscape Rake – effective in spreading and smoothing mulch, dirt, sand, gravel or small pebbles

• Standard Leaf Rake – for pulling leaves toward the user or lifting garden debris into trash container

• Garden Rake – to break up and pulverize dirt clods, featuring sharp curved teeth and straight-backed tines

• Clog-Free Leaf Rake – comprised of special tines on a uniquely designed head that prevents leaf clog

• Adjustable Leaf Rake – telescopes down to minimal size for easy storage

• Rock Rake – extracts rocks from soil

• Pet Poop Rake – a combination rake and scooper for pet waste

Overwhelmed in my search for a simple old-fashioned rake, I perked up when my cursor stopped on The Amazing Rake described as ergonomically designed to avoid the user’s need to bend or stoop. I was delighted.

But before I clicked the Add to Cart button, I hesitated. If I continued searching, I might find the Perfect Rake – a rake that rakes independently while you sit in a chair drinking a cup of coffee.

Copyright 2012  Bernadine Chapman-Cruz   



  1. That rake would be called the Lucas-Jace rake! My grandson’s (5 & 7) find such joy in raking our yard. Honestly, sometimes I do just sit and watch their delight in filling our garden bins. I realize this joy for raking will probably transfer over to some other interest, but I hope their joy for the outdoors and gardening will last forever.


  2. Anonymous,
    Yes, raking leaves has always been a ‘fun part of gardening’ for me. Most people think it an unwelcome chore, but just like your grandsons, I find it a delightful activity. Thanks for your comment.


  3. Thank you so much for the information. I love your writing and the subjects you write about.

    Please continue your articles because I look forward to each of them.

    M. G. Mohabbat


  4. To MGM,
    thank you for your kind comments. Having the opportunity to guest post on Dianne’s In and Around the Garden blog is a pleasure.

    Please keep following her regular postings and share the wealth of information with ‘your flower girl’ who loves to garden too.

    You can subscribe for free and get Dianne’s postings sent directly to your in-box.


  5. Good Thursday Morfning Dianne:

    Not only was this article informative but sooo funny…I too would love to find a rake that worked while I drank a good latte….I think I have forgone the rake for the blower…I find that it works much faster and with all that I have to rake after this last storm I vote for a blower…As always thank you for your information and humor I so do enjoy it… Kisses Kim


  6. Hi Kimberly,
    Glad you enjoyed ‘what happened to the rake’, I am so fortunate to be a part of Dianne’s inandaroundthegarden as a guest writer. I do love to rake leaves, and the latte sounds even better than the cup of coffee – enjoy.


  7. When my grandson came to visit right after a wind storm, we took on the task of raking leaves. He would rake, fill a small wheel barrow and haul them about 4 or 5 feet and dump them. Cute. I would say to him, Now if you are getting tired we can go take a nap. Emphatically he would say, OH, NO, I’M NOT TIRED. Thus, the leaves got all raked and Grandma did very little.
    Did the term rake off come into play when looking for a rake? Wonder where that term came from.
    Dianne’s friend, Georgia


  8. Hi Georgia,
    Sounds like grandma did find her ‘perfect rake’ handled by her grandson. Whatever works to get the leaves raked. Good thinking.
    I’m not familar with ‘rake off’. I’ll have to research that one.


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