What does an expert's lawn look like?
I guess it’s the same as asking what a professional gardener’s garden looks like – we assume it will be perfect. Well, my lawn IS perfect – perfect for me! But if you ask me what the definitive perfect lawn should look like – I don’t know.
To be honest, it doesn’t exist. We seem to have some expectation that it does, but where does this come from?
In my opinion, perfection in gardening is merely an interpretation, judged by the individual. And there are many lawns, flower-beds, landscape designs and topiary extravaganza that we might describe as ‘perfect’ – but I bet their owners and creators won’t! Like Torville and Dean’s Olympic figure skating, behind the perfection there is always the scope for even more improvement.
But, for me, my lawn is perfect. There are always one or two things going on that I’m not happy about, weeds that somehow sneak in when I’m not looking, an ant’s nest appearing on the surface, but I still love it.
And this is what my lawn looks like…
I chose a grass selection that was perfect for what I needed – and it’s not a ‘luxury blend’. You see what we call the ‘luxury lawn’ is in fact simply the two most natural grasses we have in the UK. It’s used on fine turf areas because it can withstand frequent low mowing, and certainly, if you want a luxury lawn, this is something to consider.
But my lawn has other requirements – I want it to be a bit tougher than the finest golf green, so my grass mix also contains dwarf ryegrass, a much coarser grass but with the benefit of deeper colour. This gives me the best of both worlds – our fine native grasses supplemented with the extra colour and hard-wearing properties of the ryegrass.
It is the perfect grassed area for me – my perfect lawn. Maybe it’s your perfect lawn too? Consider the benefits:
It cuts at 30mm for most of the year, although I raise the height a little during dry spells and towards the winter.
It cuts cleanly (but I make sure the blade is kept nice and sharp too).
It only needs light scarification once a year.
It survives very well on one annual aeration.
As with any lawn, it gets hungry and I feed it 3 to 4 times a year.
And with these requirement, my work is done before the summer comes along. From May to October all I need do is to mow – and enjoy the occasional glass of wine as I admire the result.
What’s not perfect about that?