Spring is a wonderful time of year: the days get longer, the weather warmer (well, usually – frost well into April was unexpected this year), and new life abounds in the garden. I’ve written previously about the frog spawn and garden birds, but now turn my attention today to an area that is causing some consternation: the flowers.
First, I should state that I love seeing what comes up every year. The previous owner of the house tried to plant a wildflower meadow in one area of the garden and, while it wasn’t exactly a success, her efforts have managed to yield cowslips and buttercups. General garden flowers —bluebells, celandines, daisies—also make an appearance throughout the lawn, and, in late spring/early summer, thick patches of clover begin to grow. This is beloved of bees and other insects, all of which I want to encourage.
Even the humble dandelion is welcome. While I know most gardeners despair over its appearance, I am always happy to see them pop up across the lawn. When in flower, they are a magnet for bees, and I have recently discovered that two garden birds—goldfinches and bullfinches—like to chow down on their seeds.
So, what’s my problem with all of this? The flowers are so lovely, and growing so well, I don’t know how we are supposed to mow the grass! Since March, it’s been growing at a rapid rate and although we have managed to cut around the areas currently in flower, this still leaves huge swathes that are turning into wilderness. I just don’t know how our mower will cope.
The Poldark scything method, while it has its appeal when modelled by Aidan Turner on TV, does not translate well to real life. And the sheep we saw a few weeks ago that keep Avebury well managed are sadly not practical for a suburban garden.
So right now it’s much easier to let the flowers grow, bloom, and be enjoyed.