Not to steal any thunder from Veronicastrum and maybe give katyCopsey another jolt (no frost here). This was published in November 2003.
As someone who makes a living doing landscape maintenance and regularly uses one of those horrible loud obnoxious blowers I had to comment on the recent letters regarding their use.
There is a reason that archeologists have to dig to find ancient civilizations. It is because the service people stopped cleaning up the mess and it just kept piling up. My clients all want their walkways, drives and pool decks cleaned of the Kihei dust and the tiny debris that falls from their jungle landscapes, the stuff that a rake can not pick up. I have to make a living here and that requires efficiency and lots of clients. I am not some babushka wearing peasant who can spend all day with a broom to earn a dollar for a loaf of bread.
The bulk of all that tiny dust and debris ends up in the lawns and plant beds were it is watered and captured and added to the soil. It is not just being pushed around by the blower. What would those bothered by the noise have us do? Should the gardeners hose off the decks? Should we vacuum it, just a blower in reverse and send it to the landfill to return to Kihei on the trade winds next week? Should we tell our clients their bill is going up for sweeping time or that they should just get used to the tiny debris?
Yes I know blowers are loud (what did you say?) and a quieter version will be invented right after a truly fuel efficient car is put on the market. And to make matters worse I smoke while I am using the blower. Obviously I will not be joining the flood of people moving to California to enjoy all the wonderful rules and regulations they have there.