Diary of an eco-worrier: In the late spring garden
Debbie Bourne, eco-worrier
- Credit: PA Images
Joy! The sun is out. It’s finally time to set up deckchairs on our lawns. But the eco-warrior in me requests you dear Ham&High’ers, to repeat this mantra: “Striped lawns are so passé ”
Henceforth, the only stripes in my domain, will be found on my husbondage’s business suits!
Lawns provide a rich habitat for beetles, worms and other insects. They’re an important part of the eco system that allows birds, frogs, newts and hedgehogs to thrive. Yet so many of us cut them weekly, depriving essential pollinators of an important food source.
According to PlantLife, allowing our lawns to grow naturally for just a single month can provide enough nectar for 10 times the number of bees, and other pollinators, than a regularly cut lawn. Mowing less, also helps lower our carbon footprint. Grass swards with more species also sequester more carbon in the soil.
Well, that’s the science bit... But whilst I’m an eco-worrier, I’m equally a sun worshipper! Like many of you, I love nothing more than laying out on my (FSC approved) wooden deckchair on my lawn. I’ve therefore decided to introduce a ‘Mowhican’ style approach! This means, I will continue to mow a sizeable area in my small garden, whilst leaving the rest of my lawn to grow long.
An area of uncut lawn will allow ‘short-grass’ plants like daisies and white clover and self-heal, the chance to flower in profusion, whilst areas of longer, un-mown grass welcome a wider range of flowers, including oxeye daisy, field scabious, knapweed & yarrows. So pretty!
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Then there’s the question of moss spray, and weed killer. We all know that neonics are harmful not only to nature, but to us. Don’t do it: Just say no to chemicals. We should all write to Camden council sustainability lead: Adam Harrison, to get the council to follow Hackney and Lambeth, in committing to a plan to phase out the spraying of herbicides across our lovely borough.
Global biodiversity is in decline. It’s essential that we all recognise the small changes we can make that have a huge collective impact on our environment. Mowing less, is one such action. When we rewild our lawns, we rewild ourselves.
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So let’s replace no mow May with #Let it bloom June & #Knee high July. Let’s put our mowers away, and our feet up. Raise a large glass of homemade elderflower bubbly. Cheers!