Not normally being one for using power tools, I have today succumbed to the lure of the Leaf Blower. The reason for this in a word is gravel. Our new house – as of March this year is surrounded by it in one form or another!
We have neighbours too with a shared gravel drive between the three properties and right of access for the farmer to tend his huge often waterlogged field. Having neighbours comes with a certain sense of responsibility, especially when neat and tidy looks the norm!
For the last four days on my return from work my senses have been bombarded from both sides by the continuous – and after only a few minutes annoying sound of the leaf blower. For me nature, rake and broom have been my tools of choice in the matter of leaf disposal. However on all this gravel I fear it will become an evil necessity.
I have always found the sight of workers spending huge quantities of time blowing leaves from one place to another slightly amusing. As fast as they blow them in snaking orderly lines even a gentle breeze will whisk them up and distribute them back from whence they came starting the whole process again.
Of course there are other reasons to clear by hand, the whole body workout you get in the process is as good as any session spent in the gym. The fresh air for another -petrol power tools by their very nature give off fumes, electric with the easy to cut cable can shock you or worse without a circuit breaker.
Well, with all the gravel and pressure of recent activity I had the opportunity to try one out today, thanks to my kind neighbour. The model offered was an electric Black and Decker with the blower attachment fitted – apparently it sucked as well with a different part fitted on. A short tutorial, basically how to switch it on and I was ready to go
After plugging in and flicking the switch the force from the powered air jolted me backwards like the recoil from a rifle, I was momentarily stunned having not expected such a high power level for blowing around a few dried leaves? Looking down I was dismayed to see that along with the leaves the gravel was now displaced and I was looking at a patch of bare driveway.
Unfortunately, before I could gather my wits and find the off switch more damage was being done, self seeded Myosotis ‘Forget me nots’ and Nigella ‘Love in the mist’ were being uprooted and flying across the drive at alarming speed along with more of the leaves, driveway and goodness knows what else!
Eventually finding the off switch calm and more importantly quiet was restored, well almost, apart from the security alarm from next door still emitting its constant beep now on day three. They return tonight!
It was my turn to be the butt of my own amusement, I felt I was acting out a scene from a cartoon sketch. With much trepidation I resumed blowing, it was a thankless task but did get easier once I had got to grips with the distance between blower and leaves. In the end it was down to my long suffering husband to rescue me from this most mundane of mind numbing activities. He blew, I happily by hand gathered and disposed!
Verdict then…… Even surrounded as I am with a sea of gravel, very tidy neighbours and lots of leaf producing trees I will stick to rake, broom and for the leaves I happily leave behind Nature can reclaim as it sees fit with my blessing.