Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Why do we have lawns?

Middle lawn last spring
Lawns have no practical purpose other than to offer an area to play sport games or sunbathe. They can be hard work requiring at least regular mowing and, being a monoculture, from an environmental point of view make no sense what so ever. Historically they were started by the aristocracy and became a status symbol that has filtered down to our present day gardens.

I have never had a perfect sward. I grew up with lawns full of clover which made a soft and squishy landing for those handstands that went awry. I am pleased to see that it is now creeping across my lawn along with a host of other weeds. When we first moved in here the house and garden had not been touched for over a year and as a result the garden was a wonderful wilderness, my children genuinely got lost in it!

I am slowly trying to eat into the lawn creating new planting beds for added biodiversity. Unfortunately the cost involved to create instant borders is well out of my budget but I am painstakingly taking cuttings and sowing seeds to allow the creation of these in the future. I did try just mowing path ways through much of it last year and it was lovely to see that there were some wild flowers. But soon the cow parsley took over and nettles got a hold of things so I'm back to mowing for now. One day I dream of having a flower meadow at the end of the garden. The soil is too rich to be just wild flowers but I'm sure I can come up with something.

But ultimately, despite knowing all the negatives about lawns, I still love them.

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