Quiet gardening tools

Quiet gardening tools

Gardening sholuld be a quiet, peaceful activity. We may hear the snip of our secateurs, the slicing of a spade through soil, even our own breathing. It's almost noiseless, often accompanied by sounds such as bird song, wind in the leaves or distant voices. It can be an uplifting, refreshing time, away from machines and loud noises, a creative enterprise where our minds are focussed on what we are doing, where we are lost in the moment. If we are lucky, we are feeling a sense of satisfaction about what we can do with our hands, bodies and perhaps a good tool or two.

So it's sad that gardening often involves loud machines. Not only do they destroy the peace of the person making the noise: they also ruin the peace for everyone and every creature around them. Given that gardening is a balance between cultivating our soils and our souls, loud machinery run by fossil fuels - which we now know are destroying the natural world - are an anachronism.

The worst offender is the leaf blower. Besides the fact that it's fairly much a useless tool, it emits nasty fumes and an awful sound, doing a less good job than a rake or broom in the process. You can add chainsaws, lawnmowers and hedge trimmers to the noisy category of garden tools.

Unlike leaf blowers, lawnmowers, chainsaws and hedge trimmers are in fact pretty useful, even essential. Fortunately, there are now some exceptional manual or battery powered garden tools that make petrol ones redundant. In fact, most of the alternatives to loud, petrol-fuelled tools win on almost all metrics. A good pruning saw costs €50.00, fits in your back pocket, lasts for years and can cut through a tree trunk in the time it takes to get a chainsaw started. A good pair of shears can trim the average garden hedge in minutes. There is little weight, no fuel, no noise, no shoulder fatigue. Just the satisfying whhosh of blades through leaves. Sure, it can be a physical job, but is that not part of the pleasure of gardening?

So, if you are buying a tool, think of the manual version as the better option, or a battery powered one if you need it: cheaper, easier to store, little to no maintenance, no fuel, smell nor sound. They are satisfying to use and often give a better result. The secret is to buy a good one: cheap generally means less good when it comes to tools. You want something strong, light, well designed, well made, functional: which is why we love hand tools and have sought out many of the best ones available.

Visit our shops to see our range of 'quiet' gardening tools from ARS, Berger, deWit, Felco, Niwaki and more.