It is hard to say what the most important tools are. I would say that the first thing you should consider would be a good-quality hose, preferrably made of rubber. They are the most expensive, but will last almost forever, whereas the cheaper ones will need to be replaced after just a year or two. After that, I would buy a round-nosed shovel, as well as another shovel with a long, narrow blade (very handy for transplanting). A garden trowel is a necessity for transplanting nursery-grown starts. A garden rake is necessary for smoothing out your planting area, and a hoe is necessary for digging planting rows and for weeding. I like the kind with the small, winged head. It is useful for the above jobs and can be maneuvered into small places for weeding. Both hand pruners and long-handled pruner/loppers are a necessity for trimming roses and other shrubs and for deadheading. I like the ones with bypass blades the best. To round out the top ten, I would recommend a spading fork - and a second one that can be used with the first to separate perennials for dividing. There are lots of other garden tools that come in handy, but you will have a good beginning if you have these ten.