/ Leaf-blowing season

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Greenbanks - on 05 Oct 2017
Right.
Sunny, autumnish days. I'm walking the dog in gentle Chiltern surrounds. Some sections with houses that are substantial, with matching gardens, lawned, with trees and tended flower beds. The lanes that they open out to are equally verdant - an abundance of vibrant greens, browns, reds and yellows. It is peaceful, apart from the too-fast-driving 4x4, hurrying to make the latte at Starbucks after the school run ('Mummy, do I really have to have tofu and chick-pea wraps...?') and the resulting outpourings of sympathy for Tupperware Theresa Mugabe .

I am at peace, the dog is glad to be sniffing, as I am the quasi-country air in this hallowed part of England. But then I hear it. Dull, whining and soon to be omnipresent.

Ah yes, I'd completely forgotten. Its open-season for leaf-blower man. And they're all stood there in Barbours and Muck Boots, admiring the neatness that this unwarranted noise and air pollution that these instruments of the devil bring. Some are landed retirees, from the City - living the good life and pretending at hard manual labour. No you're not mate: you are stood there like a moron blowing leaves onto anothers patch. Or better still, I'll just blow it in the lane: that way I can screww up the traffic, maybe with a wheel-skidding cyclist coming to grief agains the cow-catchers of the Per Una dressed 4x4 owner (who is now onwards to meet school chums for a light lunch - with prosecco).
Others are hapless Portuguese gardeners, employed on a pittance ('Well, they pay no tax, do they') and similarly gazing balefully at mounds of leaves and wondering where the feck he can blow them next: Amersham? Ivinghoe Beacon? Aylesbury? Why not go on tour - though make sure you keep that fecking machine going at all costs.
And look! Up there, in the trees. There's several tens of million or more leaves waiting for a Westerly to besmirch your handiwork - so you'll have to do it all again.
Leaf blowers start early in the day (I've seen 'em at it at 8.00 in the morning - stood there, doing feck all, cos the machine does everything) and in the season (sometimes they operate all the year round - well, its better than turning over soil, or planting, or proper work, isn't it)
Get a feckin' broom!

Thanks (bad day at work)
9
GrahamD - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Greenbanks:

You seem to have conflated some sort of class war with the (at best) pointlessness of leaf blowing. Well done.
4
Greenbanks - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

What do you expect? I don't see leaf blowers in Peckham or Moss Side.
1
subtle on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Greenbanks:

What would you rather be - a leaf blower or a seal blower?

You blow one seal said the Eskimo.......
Philip on 05 Oct 2017
There should be rules. I've got a petrol lawn mower and it takes me nearly 2 hours to mow, but I won't start before 10 am on a Saturday / Sunday, won't do it after 7pm and not between 12 - 3 on a Sunday so that people don't have their lunch disturbed. I think I'll trade in for a battery version when they make them powerful enough.
3
Greenbanks - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Philip:

Petrol mowers - there isn't really a broom alternative...unless a hand-powered job. I understand petrol mowers as a useful & fairly essential piece of kit

Trangia on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Greenbanks:

What about strimmers too? Noisy bloody things

And chain saws......

Whatever happened to edge clippers, sythes, hand clippers and sickles.? I used to be, and still am, quite a dab hand at sything.
1
captain paranoia - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Greenbanks:

Having seen some leaf blowers in action, I think a good spring time rake is probably less work, and more effective.
Greenbanks - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to captain paranoia:

Leaf-blowers when its really windy. Utterly gormless
1
jon on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Greenbanks:

Ah but the leaf blowing enthusiasts of which you speak are recreational leafblowers. It's their favourite autumn pastime, their chance to be at one with the great oudoors, the wild expanses of leafy Surburbanshire. Spare a thought for those of us living in the olive tree infested hills of northern Provence where the olive picking season will be upon us in a month or so. Soon the hills here will be alive with the sound of hundreds of these machines separating leaves and olives in the nets stretched around the trees. Olive oil production is not a quiet thing...
GrahamD - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Greenbanks:

You see them wherever there are leaves, obviously. I see them in Harlow where I work, hardly a middle class hotbed.
MG - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Greenbanks:

Don't ever visit the States. Merkans are incapable of relaxing with some hugely noisy device.
Trangia on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to MG:

> Don't ever visit the States. Merkans are incapable of relaxing with some hugely noisy device.

Like semi-automatic rifles?
1
MG - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Trangia:

That's one extreme!
FactorXXX - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to MG:

Don't ever visit the States. Merkans are incapable of relaxing with some hugely noisy device.

What have fanny wigs got to do with it?
Jenny C on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Philip:

> There should be rules. I've got a petrol lawn mower and it takes me nearly 2 hours to mow, but I won't start before 10 am on a Saturday / Sunday...

Don't go looking for a job with Sheffield council, you will never fit in with that kind of attitude. I was rudely woken from my slumber last Sunday morning at 6.30am by them cutting the verges.

Trangia on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Jenny C:

> Don't go looking for a job with Sheffield council, you will never fit in with that kind of attitude. I was rudely woken from my slumber last Sunday morning at 6.30am by them cutting the verges.

Think yourself lucky. East Sussex CC haven't been cutting ours for yonks, all part of their austerity drive.
2
A Longleat Boulderer - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Greenbanks:

I prefer to blow the leaves in my 4x4 and drive through the poor parts of town where the peasants live. I then throw leaves at them while I laugh in my muck boots and Barbour jacket.
A Longleat Boulderer - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Philip:
There are in Norway... no chainsaws on a weekend (or something similar).

EDIT: though to be honest the sounds don't bother me. I may be quite guilty however... my house is entirely wood heated so I use the chainsaw a lot.
Post edited at 13:24
stubbed on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Greenbanks:

I get that they are more useful in America where people's drives can be massive and the wind is not so bad. But at home it gets so windy it's pointless.

Mind you, my husband keeps saying that he wants one. I am not sure they are better at picking up mucky leaves from the lawn however.
Timmd on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Greenbanks:
When in my childhood home, my (middle class ;-)) parents very sensibly used to wait until the leaves had all finished coming off the trees before doing anything about them, and gathered them up and put them all in one part of the garden to rot down and benefit the soil.

They didn't like leaf blowers either. 'That guy's been using the leaf blower all morning, it just makes a noise and blows them about...'
Post edited at 14:04
Chris the Tall - on 05 Oct 2017
TMM on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Greenbanks:

Guilty!
I'm happy to come out and stand proud as a member of the leaf blowing brethren.
I invested in a leaf blower 2 years ago as my house has a large gravel driveway. I am not sure if you have tried using a grass rake or broom (your suggestion) on gravel but it is not very effective.
To maximise the utility in my investment the leaf blower is shared with my parents who live close by.
Leaves are only gathered on still days and we typically collect them over three session over the course of the winter. Total hours of leaf blowing perhaps 3-4 hours. Not too much of disruption for you is it over a 5-6 month period?
Leaf blowers are also a fantastic tool for getting a reluctant fire going in less than ideal conditions.
We only collect the leaves from the gravel and not the lawns, we're not that retentive.

Greenbanks - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to TMM:
Maybe you ought to stand for election as President* of the said brethren. I like your regime - very considerate
*Barbour jacket mandatory


TMM on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Greenbanks:

No Barbour for me whilst leaf blowing. Aigle boots though if that helps the stereotype!
plyometrics - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to TMM:
Good show. Barbour’s rather gauche these days anyway, particularly since the chavs started wearing it...
Post edited at 15:15
captain paranoia - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to captain paranoia:

> a good spring time rake

spring tine

Bloody spell checker...
Jim Hamilton - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to TMM:

Leaf blower and a gravel driveway - even worse! More crap on the road. 3 sessions => more than an hours leaf blowing?!
wintertree - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Greenbanks:

I had a similar rant brewing. I’m especially loathful seeing, hearing and breathing crap from the noxious two stroke engines many of them use.

They’d be second on my list for outlawing, after idling your car engine whilst parked.
wintertree - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Trangia:

> And chain saws......

I justify my petrol chainsaw as the wood it processes reduces my oil consumption by about 100x the petrol is uses. I do the bare minimum with the petrol one and carry long trunks back to the house for logging with an electric chainsaw.

Leaf blowers on the other hand - totally unjustifiable use of petrol in a filthy engine.

Strimmers vs scythes; having once scythed half an acre I now appreciate strimmers. Hoping to go fully battery electric with the new “Greenworks” system.
Trangia on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to wintertree:
> I justify my petrol chainsaw as the wood it processes reduces my oil consumption by about 100x the petrol is uses. I do the bare minimum with the petrol one and carry long trunks back to the house for logging with an electric chainsaw.

If you are trying to justify the use of chain saws for logging, presumably you are burning the logs for heating?

Have you factored in the harmful effects of wood smoke into your justification?

Please understand this is not a direct crititcism of you - we all, including myself, enjoy a nice wood fire, but are we deluding ourselves when it comes to considering the effects on the environment?

https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/publications/documents/91br023.pdf
Post edited at 19:46
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wintertree - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Trangia:

> Have you factored in the harmful effects of wood smoke into your justification?

Yes. We have a modern stove with clean burning secondary/tertiary burns, and we burn very dry wood and take care to burn it well.

Unlike a neighbour who puts all sorts of farming waste into their big external boiler... Yurch.

Burning wood instead of oil doesn’t do jack crap for the environment really, it’s tree planting on unused land that matters, or felling old trees, not burning the wood and planting more. We are working on that to...
Post edited at 20:11
Babika - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Trangia:

> I used to be, and still am, quite a dab hand at sything.

Please.
Only Aiden Turner is allowed to scythe

Trangia on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Babika:

But you've never seen me without my shirt on!

Well, on reflection, that's probably not a bad thing either........
Timmd on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to wintertree:
> I justify my petrol chainsaw as the wood it processes reduces my oil consumption by about 100x the petrol is uses. I do the bare minimum with the petrol one and carry long trunks back to the house for logging with an electric chainsaw.

I hope you don't chainsaw alone? I had that drummed into me while on my course to never be beyond any help, beyond contacting anybody for help. I generally wouldn't use one without having somebody within 'argh' hearing distance. I'll cycle in traffic. though, so it's a personal choice in the end.
Post edited at 21:31
1
girlymonkey - on 05 Oct 2017
In reply to Greenbanks:

There is a lot of skill to using a leaf blower... and I don't have that skill!

My husband is a landscape gardener and I sometimes do some casual labouring for them. One year I was given a day of leaf clearing. I did just move half of them around all day. The boss finished it off for me in no time by blowing them into neat piles which were easily picked up. If used well, they really are an efficient way of clearing leaves. Most people just don't use them well!!
Rog Wilko on 06 Oct 2017
In reply to jon:

Living in Provence and it's October. My heart fair bleeds for you Jon. ;o)
r0x0r.wolfo - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to TMM:

Why do you blow the leaves again? Is it because they look ghastly?
Jim C - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Trangia:

> Think yourself lucky. East Sussex CC haven't been cutting ours for yonks, all part of their austerity drive.

They are not NOT cutting your verges Trangia, they are 'actively' creating 'biodiversity areas '
( At least it's what my local council tell you on Facebook when complaints are made about lack of cutting ;)
Jim C - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

> Why do you blow the leaves again? Is it because they look ghastly?

You don't need blowers, there are perfectly good leaf pullers waiting to the job (if they would just be patient) and they would not have to feed their lawns either, as the worms would do it for them .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EODCIY-3E0M
Jim C - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Trangia:

> But you've never seen me without my shirt on!

> Well, on reflection, that's probably not a bad thing either........

I'm guessing that someone who scythes their gardens, is going to look better with their shirt off than someone who uses power tools( unless the power tool user goes to the gym) but then on reflection , why bother paying for going to the gym, if you can get your exercise -for free - by doing the chores by hand rather than using power tools.
Win win ( now where is that old push mower)
Stephen R Young - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Greenbanks:
It's best to blow the tree first, then you don't have to reblow when they fall. Do it in one step!
nufkin - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Jim C:

> I'm guessing that someone who scythes their gardens, is going to look better with their shirt off than someone who uses power tools

Yup, and raking up a quarter-acre of leaves is wonderful for the obliques.



Mind you it does tend to cultivate insufferable smugness as well, so it's not all mulled cider and fireworks
r0x0r.wolfo - on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to Jim C:

It is a bit cringeworthy watching people fill up plastic bags of leaves to go the the landfill. Bizarre.
L Fozzy on 07 Oct 2017
In reply to plyometrics:

> Good show. Barbour’s rather gauche these days anyway, particularly since the chavs started wearing it...

A Schoffel gilet is mandatory whilst making a racket with machinery on the lawn. A man must have standards!

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