Posts Tagged ‘Suburbs’

Why gardening has become so noisy.

February 13, 2023

It wasn’t long after our arrival in Australia in 1956 that I discovered the important relationship that Australia has with their gardens, especially the lawns. The discovery and implementation of title gave former renters the opportunity to buy their own block of land and build their own house. It took off like wildfire and it infected migrants the same. Own block with own house was the aim of life above much else. It is one reason why protecting this asset became important with fences and borders denoting the exact position of own house and own block.

With that became the need to protect and enhance by having lovely gardens and so it was that the grass lawn was born. An inherited gene from the English. But it also soon became apparent that trees and their shedding of leaves were not in tune with maintaining the perfect lawn. I remember well our neighbour in a very silent, peopleless and quiet suburb spending whole weekends on his knees tending the sacred lawn next to where we were living. The dying leaves from shrubbery would be quickly removed even before they dared to hit his lawn. Trees were forbidden to grow above gutter heights.

In those early days there were brooms and rakes to keep grass tidy but with time all sorts of innovative equipment were designed to keep the lawns tidy and obedient. Of course, with our own blocks of land and own homes the suburbs were born and with that came the stillness and quietness of lives lived in a somewhat isolated fashion but of great comfort were our gardens and lawns, so green and verdant.

As I said though, new equipment was discovered but they came with great fanfare and noise and now in 2023, our autumn has arrived, and an orchestra of noisy leaf blowers is heralding it in no uncertain terms. Not just leaf blowers but petrol driven edgers and leaf mulchers, ride on mowers with sometimes huge but proud owners astride teaching those lawns a lesson.

I am speculating here but is all that noise a reaction to the stillness and forlornness of the suburban way of life. Our houses on own blocks, fenced off, curtains drawn with added protection of tropical wooden blinds or venetians, privacy till we die? The streets so quiet and empty. Where are the people? Is all that noise, blowing leaves and whipper snipping, edging the pathway on the ‘nature’ strip our way of escaping this lonely quietness? It at least gives us the opportunity to meet our neigbours when they are about and tackling the leaves. I often pop out if I hear petrol driven garden noise curious who might be about.

I mean how important is it to keep leaves away and the grass lawn so perfect, or the edges on the concrete walkway so neat?

Perhaps we could spend more time together sharing gossip and coffees.