THE MODERN MINT BLOG
We run several lawncare programmes for clients in both Essex and Hampshire.
We start our programmes by asking the client the most important lawncare question…
When they have answered that (many clients are incredibly adept at describing what they want from their lawn) we devise them a programme that will help them get what they want.
The lawn in the picture above is one we are now in our second year of working on. The client is pleased at how well it is standing up to conditions, but we think it would look even better if the client’s garden help did not cut it as low as he is. There is no need to cut it this short as the lawn is not used for playing on or as access to anywhere, it is purely ornamental.
Its purpose is to give a restful green space to the eye, to be pleasantly in scale with the house and border. Another 20-25mm (yes, really that much!) would give it a green lushness and strength currently being taken away from it every time it is cut.
Our lawncare programmes are built around five key parts:
1) Spring feed – high in nitrogen.
3) Summer feed.
4) Scarify and aerate.
5) Autumn feed – higher % of potassium.
This may appear facile, but obviously we edit and change the options depending on the weather, your site and conditions, what you use your lawn for and what we are actually trying to achieve. We think though, for the amateur, it gives a good basic programme to think about when trying to keep things simple… and we should keep things simple – we are only growing grass after all.
But if we could give you one piece of advice (or maybe two?) it would be this:
1) Cut your lawn at the same height on a regular basis, leaving it as high as you possibly can.
2) Aerate your lawn.
These are simple, easy to manage tasks that will improve the lawn remarkably. The rest is the dressing, the incremental improvements (although personally, we like daisies, so improvement is only in the eye of the beholder…) but do the two actions above and you will notice the difference – promise!
If none of that work and faffing about appeals, or you are after a lower maintenance alternative, why not spend your money on a meadow instead of lawncare – see our Ten Meadows project to see what we are trying to achieve in Essex and London!
Products to help you with your lawn can be found here at Rolawn.
You can probably get a bargain lawnmower right now too.
And last of all, this is the bible of lawncare… The Lawn Expert.
Phillyrea is one of my favourite plants for topiary. I have been using it for quite a few years as a specimen shrub, mostly due to the fact it clips well and has a tough habit – all good characteristics for a topiary plant. It also has a reputation for being an excellent nectar source for bees… Read more about Phillyrea here. Mentioning this to Malcolm Thicke, a market garden historian and writer, he sent me a some photos of topiary and phillyrea mentioned by John Worlidge in Systema Horticulturae from 1682…. incredible! He also mentioned to me that in …
Kites and Strings is a podcast about creativity, hosted by US-based Stephen Ploum and Catherine Chinnock. Back in March they asked me to come onto their podcast and talk about topiary, my past writing plays, the stand-up I did and how creativity can fit into your life. The Kites and Strings podcast was great fun and Stephen and Catherine are fantastic hosts. Listening back today I am surprised by some of the ideas I talked about (somehow I even started to describe a future where I run a ‘School of Creativity’ by the sea…. where did that come from?!) but it …
Robinia is often forgotten – by me, actually! – when thinking of plants for topiary. But when I work on it I do love it, brittle and soft as the wood is if you climb into it. But that danger of snapping a branch with a heavy step and falling out of the tree aside, I love it for the dappled light it allows into the garden space. Robinia Near The Sea Below is a Robinia I have gently clipped over the last few years, down near Leigh-on-Sea in Essex. The tree was large when I arrived, although it is …