Saturday, June 11, 2005

Home and Garden

Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees
That half a proper gardener's work is done upon his knees,
So when your work is finished, you can wash your hands and pray
For the Glory of the Garden, that it may not pass away!

Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936), writer and poet

Gardeners are a necessary luxury if you work fulltime. No longer does the corporate world work on a set schedule, nor has it for sometime. This development has required me to employ the services of a gardener(s) to keep the yards presentable.

Having a gardener used to be a very meticulous and prideful occupation, but today with the advent of blowers, weed whackers and battery operated shears, when the gardeners come to the house it is more like watching a pit crew team during a NASCAR race. Mowers, blowers and trimmers racing around the house, only it’s helter skelter not a choreographed, organized event where the clean-up man follows the trimmer or the mowers, no it’s just cut, blow trim or trim, blow and cut. Rarely is it cut, trim and blow.

The advent of the blower seems to me the downfall of the art of gardening. Nothing is picked up – dust is just blown from one side of the yard to the other. Oh sure, a few leaves are picked up, but mostly the blowers are just small tornados sweeping the dirt under the carpet, and onto the carpet literally, if I don’t close the sliding door. Just rewards to the inventor of the blower will only be served, if he is sent to hell with the sound of blowers serenading him while he is forced to live and breathe in a cloud of dust.

Another part of the gardener equation is timing. They seem to show up whenever it is convenient to them; there is no set time. However, my gardeners are rather timely, since I threatened to replace the whole team with a group that would come a day earlier (Friday as opposed to Saturday). B2 was mentioning that his gardeners arrive just as the kids are going down for their nap or during naptime, worse still show up when they are entertaining family or friends. On The Mark’s band of mowers, blowers and trimmers will leave without a second thought if the gate is locked without checking to see if anyone is home.

Finally, during the holiday season, when service providers send their clients gifts for doing business with them throughout the year, my service providers expect a gift. I may be a misanthrope, but I am not a skinflint, so I give them something we could all use – cash. However, for the inventor of the blower, I have a suggestion for where he can place his blower.


B2 said...

They're next door right now, polluting the air with their blowers -- spraying dust and grass, pollen and NOISE on an otherwise pleasant Saturday afternoon.

On The Mark said...

Sometimes when I'm walking my dogs on a Saturday morning I'll come across gardeners with mowers and blowers blasting at 7:30. Unbelievable.

Josh said...

You guys should try and find out if there's someone like this providing quiet lawn service in your area. I think it's a great idea.

Devo said...

I absolutely love gardening. At the moment, my work schedule permits me to devote at least a half hour a day (and several hours on certain weekends) to tending my growing things, and I hope that does not change. I love planting vegetables, designing living outdoor spaces, watching flowers at all their stages of bloom and generally connecting with my little piece of earth. In fact, I think that's one of the most valuable parts of owning one's own home. While I imagine that children will eventually place a great deman on my time and energy, I hope that I can retain at least a modicum of devotion to the ground and the things that live therein...

My sweet peas are ripening on their vines, and I was outside yesterday munching away at the fruits of my labor. That reward alone is worth ten times the sweat and annoyance associated with tilling my own soil.

Also, I own a blower/vacuum thingy, and I hate using it, but I love it at the same time. It's noisy (while not gas-powered) and I use the vacuum part far more often than the blower part (it mulches our oak leaves, making for excellent organic amendments for my soil) but every time I plug it in, I make sure it's in the afternoon, and at least one other neighbor is outside doing lawn work... Annoyances like this deserve at least a tiny bit of respect to those with whom you share a living space...