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Lilium flowering 2011
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Clematis flowering 2011
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The Lawns
( A Man thing )


The lawns in our garden are not huge ( neither is the garden ), but a good lawn shows off the rest of the garden, Lyn has always moaned at me for cutting the lawn so much ( more of that later ).
The lawn in Lyn's garden comes through the winter in better condition than in my back garden, because it is south facing, and if there is any sun about, her garden gets it.

In Early January 2011 the garden was just starting to come back to life after an extremely cold December, which had 28 nights of frost, and many days with snow lying.
There wasn't much we could do to the lawns till the ground temperature had risen enough to start the grass into growth.
On February 24th the mower, a very old Mountfield rotary, petrol job, was started up just to tidy the lawn, this was followed up on March 4th, with a scarifier to pull out the dead thatch and remove any moss. We also cut back the edges of the lawn, away from the brick paviors which run all of the way round the lawns. The bricks were laid because we are on sandy soil and the edges of the lawn kept breaking away.
The lawn will now look worse than when we started !.

To help get the lawn back into growth, I don't use a lawn fertiliser, I just apply Blood, Fish and Bone, I hate the lawn fertilizer with moss killer in, as you will blacken/kill the grass if too much is applied. After applying the blood fish and bone, if it is not going to rain, I lightly water it in.

During April 2011 we had several weeks of very hot weather and the lawn was watered quite often to keep it growing, I try to mow the lawn every other day, and that is what thickens the lawn up, after all it is a plant and if you prune a plant it thickens the base. This is exactly what you want in a lawn. Visitors to the garden often ask what sort of grass we have, well it is mostly the cheapest turf Lyn could buy over 20 years ago, and the rest is whatever was there before. So nothing special at all. We have had visitors kneeling on the lawn trying to find out if it is truly real grass, not artificial.

One drawback to feeding and watering the lawn, is that in the spring, the Silver Birch tree in the front garden takes up a lot of the moisture and food from the lawn, which makes it grow and produce more leaves. Come the hot weather and the tree can't keep up the supply of water to the leaves, so it drops some of them, onto the lawn!.

During the growing season I use a hose end feeder to apply Miracle Grow lawn feed about every 4 weeks, if the soil is dry, then I water the lawn first, before applying the feed, otherwise the feed won't get to the roots of the grass properly.

On an average open day we get between two and three hundred people through the garden gate, which does tend to flatten the grass, but a quick watering as soon as possible at the end of the day, will help to revive it.

So to recap, feed, water and regular cutting every two days, is what makes a good lawn for us.

In the 11 years we have opened our garden, I can only recall one complaint about the lawn, and that was a gentleman who said he didn't like the lawn because it didn't remind him of summer ! In other words he would prefer to have seen it brown and parched.