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Screeching chainsaws and strimmers may annoy some – but to me they herald the glorious sound of summer

The man who got The Godfather made – by making friends with the Mob
Published Time: 11.05.2024 - 09:40:42 Modified Time: 11.05.2024 - 09:40:42

I sometimes wonder why environmentalists aren’t glueing themselves to my lawn as I fire up the petrol-powered rotavator Andrew Crowley for The Telegraph They are the signs of hope, the indications after months of rain, that order will be restored, vitamin D levels upped and scarves put in the bottom drawer

I sometimes wonder why environmentalists aren’t glueing themselves to my lawn as I fire up the petrol-powered rotavator

: Andrew Crowley for The Telegraph

They are the signs of hope, the indications after months of rain, that order will be restored, vitamin D levels upped and scarves put in the bottom drawer. Not the bird song, the high-pitch call of the buzzard or the rippled whistle of the robin, nor the spring lambs bleating in the fields nor even the light pouring in through the windows and the late evening sunshine – I’m talking about the sound of mowers being started and strutting their stuff across lawns, the buzz of strimmers attacking weeds and grass, the noise of chainsaws sorting out timber and leaf-blowers gathering fallen leaves.

One of my neighbours has an ancient mowing machine that makes such a din it echoes across the valleys from us to Wiveliscombe; it’s so loud he has to wear ear protectors to stop him going deaf. But would I moan? Absolutely not. It is the music of May, the tune of endeavour, the song of man attempting to place order on nature. It’s the hum that tells me the ground is dry; that the growing season is upon us; that reminds us to sew our seeds for salad leaves and sweet peas; that we should begin edging and that we may be able to walk across fields without getting stuck or disappearing into a slurry of sloppy, sticky mud.

And it’s the joyful reminder to get my own grass-controlling beasts ready. For if my neighbour thinks he’s making a din, just wait ‘til I get my mowers out. My machines make up a veritable orchestra. I’ve collected them over the years and while I don’t quite have the lawns to justify them, nothing will ever force me to part with them.

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