In 2014 I created a mini meadow outside my studio and relaxed my long running debate with having a cropped lawn in the rest of the garden. Despite stealthily mowing round the Birds Foot Trefoil ("I couldn't mow the bees!"), overall the main lawn has been kept loosely sheared.
But now I've discovered a middle ground through the charity Plantlife - No Mow May
The idea is that you simply stop mowing your lawn for the whole month of May and then see what flowers have appeared. But I discovered it's more than that. I will now be adopting the "Mowhican Cut" on the main lawns - raising the cutting blades a bit and only mowing once a month through April until November.
One of my bugbears about Meadow maintenance is that it has been so difficult to find out a suitable mowing routine - they often tell you to stop mowing and how to create a bespoke meadow, but not how to maintain it! Plantlife has set out a clear and simple approach and whilst this may not suit all plants, if you have orchids for example, it's a good starting point to find out what you have. I seem to have a lot of Speedwell.
One of my favourite sounds is the flight call of a Goldfinch and I was so excited to find the remains of a nest in my Acer last Autumn. I think the forest of teasels in 2015 brought them in and I keep a few to flower each year because I love watching the bees delicately avoiding the spikes as they forage. I've seen the Goldfinch this year pecking about in the old teasel heads but I also learned that they eat dandelion seeds - another reason for no mow. I suspect I benefit from the fact that my neighbour feeds the birds and then they search my garden for insects and nesting sites.
Morning Walk - 11 swifts now screeching over the allotments, ducks and moorhens were hiding but I saw the Terrapin for the first time this year and a beautiful ghost Koi.
I learned that the Swifts often share nest sites with Starlings, and I'm pretty sure the Starlings fledged at the weekend - how clever is that?
Want to know more - there's a lovely No Mow article here.
I hope you enjoy what I am sharing. - feel free to comment or get in touch, I love to talk nature and art
If I had known then what I know now
I would have started this diary years ago
If you would like irregular email updates for this blog and/or my studio news, you can sign up here: