Turf Wars

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 Dear Editor:

(Regarding The Lazer Speaks column, 08-19-2021) I'd like to make a comment on the column re gardens and gardeners.

While I'm unsure if this is still in effect, my former now-retired gardener, and a neighbor whom did not use his services, told me that the assorted gardening and landscaping services seem to have some sort of gentlemen's agreement. If you wanted to change services, you couldn't directly switch from service 1 to service 2. Instead, you'd have to stop service 1 for at least one season, before you could engage service 2 to handle your lawn and garden needs.

Due to that agreement, you couldn't fire service 1, and go directly to hiring service 2.

I kind of laughingly recall how some of these agreements could work. Many years ago, there were several gardening services, all run by different brothers in the same family. My grandmother hired the service we then had, to install an underground sprinkler system for our lawn. On the Sunday the service agreed to do the job, all the brothers, with no disagreement, showed up to do the installation.  The brother who we used told me that a few of the "workers" were family members who were bankers, who wanted to work with their hands once in a while! Due to their cooperation, they preferred shovels to mechanical ditch digging machines. They did the job quickly, with a lot of happily talking amongst themselves in Italian. It seemed to be more a party than a work detail. 

With some tweaking, over the years, by a sprinkler service guy my gardener recommended, that sprinkler system is still running, more than 45 years later.

Richard Berger

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