Homo strimmerus

Sir, – Further to your editorial in Saturday's Irish Times ("Homo strimmerus: Irish Times view on the angry buzz of summer", July 17th), I might add that much of the cacophony that disturbs our leafy suburbs is caused by the fact that most so-called gardening is now outsourced to machine-driven contractors whose priority is to make a living from their work. They believe in a fast turnaround for their efforts. Of course this is not what gardening is about.

While it would be nice to think that we take to gardening because we are following the advice, if not the example, of Voltaire, for most of us the garden is a nuisance that has to be kept in order. And if it happens to be beautiful as well in a standardised, minimalist kind of way, then it provides an additional status symbol along with the fleet of expensive cars that grace one’s property.

It should also be said that there are many elderly folk who are no longer able to enjoy gardening and are forced to surrender this and much else besides to the attentions of outsiders.

I am somewhat at a loss as to how the infliction can be dealt with. My efforts to manage my garden is somebody else’s nuisance while, in turn, their efforts become my nuisance.


One possibility might be to follow the example of the wheelie-bin collection service whereby a particular area would be assigned a specific day of the week on which the mayhem might take place. But this would involve a level of cooperation and mutual kindness of which we are incapable, I think.

And then of course there are earplugs. All day, every day, during a heatwave? Winter has its consolations. –Yours, etc,


Dublin 14.