Tuesday 10 November 2020

Leaf blowers

Until November 5th this used to be a path across Wanstead Flats. On either side is an extremely large colony of ivy mining bees. Somebody decided that this would be the perfect spot from which to launch an amateur fireworks display, which appears to have required digging a hole in which to site one of the pathetic things. Naturally they just walked off once they were done leaving said hole and a load of litter behind. In 2020 this is to be expected.

I was wondering the other day if there was anything I hated more than fireworks. For a long time I couldn't think of anything, dogs and irresponsible dog owners maybe, and then a neighbour's gardener started using a leaf blower. Ah yes, there it is. Leaf blowers. Is there a more wasteful or more fruitlessly egregious and irritating device than a leaf blower? I mean fireworks are right up there, but in the pantheon of pointless human invention I believe leaf blowers occupy a higher spot.

It went on for hours, a whining petrol-driven two stroke, a cheap moped on a stick. People who own these things know that much of the population now works from home right? The guy doing the blowing had pro-grade ear defenders, he wasn't bothered. The rest of the street had to suffer all morning as he moved individual leaves from one part of the garden to another. I'm not sure he ever then swept them up so presumably he'll be back next week for another go. 

Yesterday a different neighbour stepped out into his garden purposefully. You guessed it. Cue several hours of revving and sputtering as he too got to work on the leaves on his lawn and flower beds. He has a leaf vacuum so its a slightly different noisy approach, but then yesterday evening there was some heavy rain.... and so when I looked out this morning his garden was once again covered in leaves. These tree things are such a pain in autumn, honestly. I mean what exactly did he think was going to happen? He's out there again as I type...

My garden also suffers from the curse of trees that selfishly drop leaves all over the ground once a year. I've had a cunning plan though. I am going to wait for the trees to finish dropping their leaves, and then I am going to go outside and sort them out in one go. With a rake. While singing at the top of my voice.


  1. As Head Gardener here at the hotel (ok, only gardener here at the hotel), my boss decided I needed to be 'seen' using big toys. This included a leaf-blower, which I initially hated but now love. Think Ghostbusters, hours of endless fun zapping those pesky ghosts! I mean leaves...

    1. I had no idea there were so many types and grades of rake, or that those used in golf bunkers are curved! I enlarged the pics, but honestly I'm struggling to see where you pour the petrol.

  2. I have two examples of four stroke leaf blowers to hand for the purposes of running my own gardening business, and in regards to cleaning up gardens in the fastest and most efficient way, they cannot be beaten.
    Obviously the corralled debris needs to be collected and disposed of, but hours! do me me a favour. What someone can achieve in hours of raking can be sorted in a handful of minutes with a blower - and a lawn rake.
    There's also the factor regarding damage to the ground with endless raking. A blower doesn't do this.

    Each to his own profession, but I know I do more to help the mental condition of my clients who are exclusively: The elderly, women and the disabled. On top of that, they choose how much they want to pay knowing that I suggest a figure that is below market rates.

    I'd say that is a little more useful than getting paid a large wad of other peoples money simply for playing around with it via a computer screen.

    Yes, a leaf blower is noisy. But that isn't their purpose. You're noisy too, what's yours?

    1. It was light-hearted post about my dislike of leaf blowers, not a declaration of war on an entire profession...

    2. more seriously - don't they kill 1000s of insects living in the leave mould? Bit like a hurricane does humans. Much more of a problem than the, admittedly, annoying noise ( I have one. It's retired so I don't kill insects. And I won't sell it for the same reason).