The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

How green was my lawn


By kowhai


I’m not a lawn gardener. Years ago, I got the kit, spread the fertilizers and weed and moss killers, and stood by for a verdant lawn. It more or less worked, but when we moved here 9 years ago, I was delighted to have a garden with a small lawn, and it soon became clear that given the shade and dryness of the site, this was no place for serious lawn gardening. Fine by me!

I always think that mowing the lawn is like hoovering: if you don’t do it, things become scruffy, but doing it is boring, and there isn’t all that much visible reward for the effort. So, when there’s a dry spell, and the grass doesn’t grow, or even dies off, I’m not worried. In any case, when it rains, the grass quickly revives, and this has been the case with the recent spell of rain. In fact, the grass all too enthusiastically revived, and I’ve had to get out the mower. I’ve held back on the trimming, though, which is the lawn equivalent of dusting.

I do admire fine lawns, and am full of admiration for lawn gardeners whose efforts are so well rewarded. And walking barefoot on a carpet like lawn is one of life’s little pleasures.

Meanwhile, the garden continues in its end of summer state. The other morning when I went out for my customary end of breakfast stroll (well, given the size of the garden, it’s really a few paces) around the garden, I couldn’t help but grab my camera for a shot of a perfect spider’s web in one of the teasel plants. In fact, there are spider’s webs everywhere, and it’s difficult not to be impressed by the wonderful skill and industry of the spiders which cast their webs across huge spaces and, when the light is right, decorate the garden with their filagree networks in the early morning sunshine.

In the border, Roxanne, a terrific hardy geranium is still in bloom. She is highly commended and recommended, as she has a very long flowering life and, like Anne Folkard, sends out kind of tentacles which mean that her blue flowers pop up in unexpected places in the border.

The sedum (a gift from neighbour, Clare) are starting to colour. Since they don’t get all that much sunlight they are well behind their fellow plants elsewhere, but it’s nice to know that they will provide a dab of colour in the border when everything else is flowerless.

The nearby pelargonium are now having an abundant 2nd flowering. I planted them a while ago (see an earlier blog) to fill an empty spot, and I must say they’re really fulfilling their promise. Definitely a plant to keep in mind for mid to late summer planting when other earlier summer flowers have faded.

A small delight has been provided by the cyclamen. Last summer, the south (but shaded north facing border) was comprehensively wrecked when the new fence was installed (summer isn’t a good time for new fencing,but the fence, our neighbour’s responsibility, had comprehensively collapsed). We had already planted some cyclamen, spring and autumn flowering varieties, in the hope of achieving a magical carpet of them, as depicted in the photo of an autumn display in the verge in front of a house in nearby Middle Assendon. The same verge is carpeted with snow drops in the early spring. Unfortunately, as the other photo reveals, the reality in our border isn’t quite on the same scale!

Still, the lawn is greening away and, although it means getting out the mower, the newly verdant carpet is a compensation for the wet weather at a time of year when a gardener’s thoughts turn to autumn chores and to planning improvements for next season.

More blog posts by kowhai

Previous post: The fugitive summer

Next post: Autumn in the air



Just simply a lovely blog, Kh.

5 Sep, 2010


Your cyclamen look very healthy although you do not have many yet. I'm sure given time it will be a lovely splash of colour to look forward to each autumn. I am still mulching one of our red hot poker borders having tied the foliage up and cut away the excess, I can now remove any weeds lurking there. I sowed some flower seed there in 2009 and they self seeded so my splash of colour is from the pot marigolds which are thriving. They are very cheery and draw my eye away from our clover ridden lawn. I'd love a green sward but since I love my lawn gardener too much to nag him I'll put up with what we have. In the summer it is covered in bees looking for nectar. A friend is thinking of doing a course on beekeeping and I have offered our garden as a home for a hive. If you can't beat them join them lol. Looking at your flowers makes me so glad we live in rainy old UK we can grow and enjoy so much colour over a long period of the year. Thanks for sharing it.

5 Sep, 2010


I'm with you all the way on the lawn/mowing.

5 Sep, 2010


Lawns arent my bag either! But I bet in a year or three's time you will have a great bed of cyclamen...unlike my snowdrops whch however many I plant I never see again!
Great blog..thanks.

23 Sep, 2010

Add a comment

Recent posts by kowhai

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    27 Dec, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Aug, 2009