As the snowflakes drift down, I think about my favorite thing about winter– the silence.
Silent gardening is highly underrated. With leaf blowers, sod cutters, rototillers, lawnmowers, hedge trimmers, edgers and weed whackers, we spend a lot of time, money and gasoline on some very loud pursuits.
Although not a total luddite (and if I had the hedges at Longleat, I would certainly use a power hedge trimmer), I prefer silence in the garden. With the exception of a gas-powered lawn mower, I edge my beds with a half-moon edger, trim hedges with shears, whack weeds with scissors and my own two hands.
I know that many of these tools are designed to make gardening faster and easier, but when I think of something like a rototiller on a small property like mine, I just don’t see the point. When you purchase a rototiller, you have to buy gas, get the rototiller cleaned up, check the sparkplugs, check the wheel bolts, put on your safety equipment, and when you finally come out to begin rototilling, I’m half done with my garden bed.
My neighbor likes his garden beds, driveway and sidewalk all neatly edged and goes outside once a month with an electric edger and gouges the heck out of them. It is loud and lasts for hours. My beds are neatly edged and no neighbor has ever heard me edge them (except for occasional swearing).
The other thing about quiet gardening, it’s great exercise. If ever anyone thinks gardening is for ladies in big hats and white gloves, I encourage them to go out and turn a bed of heavy clay. It’s tough. But it’s good for you.
So quiet gardening is good exercise, attractive and neighborly, and not tremendously more time-consuming than loud gardening.
Why doesn’t everyone try some quiet gardening?