P91218-1Blowers put the ‘blow’ in ‘mow, blow and go’. They really blow! The only power tool used by so-called ‘gardeners’ that is more detestable to the rest of us is the power hedge shears, and that claim is contestable. Some consider blowers to be worse because they are so obnoxiously noisy, and generate so much dust. Some municipalities have outlawed the use of the noisiest sorts.

The mess on the hood and windshield in the picture above was not actually caused by blowers. The picture below shows the bridge that was power washed above. Oops. I should have been suspicious that no one wanted that parking space. Anyway, this picture was just too funny to not share; . . . and I happen to lack pictures of the sorts of dusty messes that blowers can stir up.

Where I lived in town, the so-called ‘gardeners’ who ‘maintained’ the apartment buildings on either side used blowers. There is a noise ordinance there, but we never bothered to enforce it. We did not want to interfere with what needed to be done. There was a lot of pavement, and we wanted it to be kept clean. We could not expect it all to be quietly swept like I swept mine.

To the north, the blowers were either off or on full-throttle. There was nothing in between. The cars in the carport collected all the dust that was stirred up. If the door to the washroom was left open, debris got blown in, and the pilot light for the only water heater in the building got blown out. Most of the debris got blown to the southeast corner, and under a fence into my yard.

The same happened to the south, but the water heater was less exposed, and there was much more debris. The largest valley oak around lived there, and dropped leaves for several months. I replaced the kickboard at the base of the fence in their northeast corner a few times, but it was just as regularly kicked out and removed so that debris could continue to be blown under!

In other neighborhoods, so-called ‘gardeners’ are notorious for blowing debris out into roads, where it gets dispersed by traffic. Even if they do not blow it away just to become a problem somewhere else, they are likely to blow too much of it into shrubbery, along with any mixed litter. It accumulates faster than it decomposes to benefit the soil and roots below. What a mess!P91218-2

18 thoughts on “Horridculture – That Blows!

  1. I share your disdain for these things. In my neighborhood, it regularly sounds like an industrial zone on the weekends. There’s no quiet. All summer it’s mowers–no one uses a push mower (we have a battery powered one, even with our steep, hilly 1 acre property), and then, they blow the clippings. Fall is all leaf blowing all the time. And now we’re into snow blower season. Quiet is a concept that is lost on everyone!

    Karla

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    1. Yes, that seems to be the norm nowadays. There are not many homes in this neighborhood, but the sound of the blowers really gets around in the narrow canyons. Yet, people complain about the air traffic above, which we can not even hear. I get offended by that because those complaining moved here knowing that there are big airports nearby. That is part of living near three very big cities.

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  2. And for some of us, it’s more than the noise that annoys. There’s one yacht club where I have to be very careful about putting a coat of varnish on a boat when the yard crew is out and about with their blowers. Nothing can ruin my day like finding grass clippings in a fresh coat of varnish. Even if I’m not working right by the sidewalks/parking lot, those clippings can travel farther than you’d think before landing in the water.

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  3. I don’t like them either, but wearing a gasoline powered engine on your back is probably worse. I once saw a guy squirting herbicide onto individual weeds that he could have pulled up faster. It’s a mystery…

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    1. Horticulture is not what is used to be. Although I can understand that blowers are very useful, I can not understand why someone who dislikes gardening too much to enjoy doing it properly would do it professionally. I would use a blower if it were necessary, but I would use a rake every chance I got.

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  4. Amen! I could not agree more. I HATE leaf blowers. I have a neighbor who blows all the leaves off his backyard EVERY SUNDAY. Like god forbid a single leaf should lie on the grass for more than a week – or that he use a rake. I have dreams where I murder this neighbor.

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    1. That is why we have ordinances regarding them. I don’t really like such ordinances, but I can totally understand why they are necessary in some Communities. Except for the mess coming into my back yard, I did not mind blowers so much in my former neighborhood. Urban areas are innately noisy. (Even the mess was not worth fussing about. I made good use of it.) Blowers annoy me more in rural or suburban areas, where they can be heard for miles up and down the otherwise quiet canyons. They are not as loud at a distance, but are more disruptive. Even though I am accustomed to them, the insensitivity for other neighbors is what really bothers me.
      Sometimes, I want to strap on a blower, and aim it at the ground so that I can fly to Gilligan’s Island!

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    1. I actually never owned one. Even I find that hard to believe. There was a lot of pavement where I lived in town, and the big valley oak next door was supposedly the biggest in the Santa Clara Valle. It was a lot of leaves on a lot of pavement!

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