No leaf blower, no problem! That was my lesson for today.
I was leaving a friend’s place today when I witnessed a remarkable feat of Australian ingenuity (code for extreme laziness). A neighbour was conducting the usual garden maintenance on this generic suburban Sydney street (grass lawns, eucalyptus trees) when it came time to clear the driveway of debris. Fair enough too, this time of year the suburbs are littered with leaf matter and strips of bark.
He obviously was not the owner of one of the more polarising pieces of home maintenance equipment – the leaf blower (Emma refused to let me buy one, even when it was on sale in ALDI for $20). Faced with the awful prospect of sweeping the driveway the good old-fashioned way – by hand with a broom – the ingenious local had developed his own, makeshift solution.
At some point it had obviously occurred to him that the exhaust from his lawnmower was quite effective at shifting leaves and so, with the lawnmower parallel to the curb, he started at the top of his driveway and diligently worked his way to the bottom. At first it appeared as if he was very carefully mowing strips on his concrete driveway and I was genuinely concerned for his mental wellbeing, but as I watched the leaves blow steadily down the driveway I realised his plan. Brilliant!
Of course, one of the fundamental problems with a leaf blower is that it blows the leaves… somewhere. They don’t just disappear. Theoretically, manual labour is required to ultimately pick up and dispose of the leaves. Not a problem for this suburban bloke and his lawnmower-leaf blower. He had decided that once the leaves were off his driveway, they were no longer his problem. Satisfied that his driveway was clean, (to be fair, it really was spotless) he turned the lawnmower off and headed back inside. Never mind the leaf matter now strewn across this quiet suburban street, for all the neighbours to enjoy.
DISCALAIMER: Your neighbours may not approve of this method of driveway maintenance.