Living Lawns

This is the time of year (when the weather permits) that you hear the familiar hum of the lawnmower as thousands of people pull them out from their winter shelter and start the summer pilgrimage round the garden.

Living Lawn - speedwell, buttercup and herb Robert L Maiden

Living Lawn – speedwell, buttercup and herb Robert  L Maiden

Perhaps it is a slightly British obsession to have neat bowling green lawns, a sense of respectability created by the tended too grass. The scalped lawn is a green desert however and very little, if anything, benefits from this barren land.

In a radical shake up of these values, we are asking you to refrain from over mowing your lawn. In fact if you can leave parts of your lawn completely un-mown then all the better. 

Mowing the lawn obviously uses a lot of energy, both yours and in fuel, so why not use less and let the flowers grow instead? If you leave one area to go completely wild then you only need to mow it far later on in the season when the flowers have gone over and seeds have set, for this area if you strim it back and take off the cuttings you should start to see more and more flowers.

As you remove nutrients from the grassy area (by strimming in late July/August and removing the cuttings) the aggressive grasses lose their hold and what takes their place is a beautiful mix of flowers and delicate grass fronds instead, bringing colour and life to your lawn.

This longer grass and high growing flowers will give protection to reptiles in your garden, whilst at the same time providing food for pollinators.

If you really feel the need to have a cut lawn then why not set it so that it cuts far higher and cut less often. This way the low growing creeping flowers can establish themselves and create a beautiful colour filled lawn that is good for wildlife and looks fantastic.

So save your back this summer and do something wonderful for wildlife.