'PETROL or electricity?' was the question put to my brother-in-law and his family, who run a small nursery. Petrol was the clear winner, for reasons that included convenience and the element of risk involved in using electrical appliances in anything other than dry conditions. There is another reason to think about this fundamental choice before buying expensive garden tools. The air turned umpteen shades of blue when our electricity failed for the sixth time in 48 hours. Some of the breaks lasted minutes rather than hours, but even they were sharp reminders that there is much to be said for having a can of petrol available. Short of buying a generator, as suggested recently, there is nothing much you can do about an unreliable electricity supply.
The last failure made me storm down to the local electricity board office, where I was met with professional sympathy, apologies and an explanation.
Overhead lines were almost invariably used when electricity reached rural areas in the Fifties. They are far more vulnerable than the underground type. I was delighted to be told that the situation would improve by . . . the end of the century.
There is another power possibility. A battery mower is on test at Tool Box Towers, so watch this space.