No Mow May – retrospective.

I stopped mowing my lawn as soon as I had one.

We once rented part of a very old bake house that belonged to Garsington Manor in Oxfordshire. We were responsible for a dank patch of grass next to the village pond. In the first no mow spring, early purple orchids came up.

We moved to Wales and eventually put down a deposit on a bungalow on the edge of a venerable town. Masses of ox- eye daisies came up along with red campion and dandelions . We were not yet brave enough to let them all grow, but soon learnt that you could mow paths through your “meadow” and this semblance of order kept the neighbours happy.

In the tropical countries in which we subsequently lived, lawns were rare and generally composed of tough mat grasses that had never been meadowlands, but not cutting the grass still allowed bigger ant hills to flourish and ant loving birds to feed.

In France we bought a flat slab of lawn surrounded by low maintenance evergreens and chicken wire. Our cat was deeply unimpressed, as there was no where to hide and absolutely no life to hunt. We agreed with him and took to diligent neglect or re-wilding, as it is more fashionably called.

Birch trees, ash, dogwood, spindle and wild privet self seeded and in a corner we let them all grow. In the grass; hawks bit, eye bright, ladies smock, bugle, daisies and dandelions, sedges and plantains, fox and cubs, primroses and cowslips, teasels, evening primroses and mulleins appeared in their seasons. We collected local wild seeds and threw them in for good measure. The ox eye daisies and the hay rattle never took, like wise the foxgloves, but then it all depends of what type of soil you have and when you eventually do cut the grass.

If you never cut the grass, then bushes and finally trees will take over. We allowed this happen in a part of the garden and now that part is full of nesting birds and mice and hedgehogs. The cats now have so many places to hunt, sun and to hide that they are happy to stay safe in our garden away from the traffic and the thundering computer driven tractors.

There is no down side to not mowing your lawn. You have more time to enjoy your garden, the garden is infinitely quieter and the difference to the amount of life that will live with you in your garden, is absolutely staggering .

No Mow May, No Mow June and a bit of mowing if you don’t want a forest glade. What could be easier!???

10 thoughts on “No Mow May – retrospective.

  1. tanjabrittonwriter says:

    Your garden has attracted many beautiful flowers and, in response, various critters. I love the notion of not mowing, but I don’t think that works everywhere. With our limited rainfalls all the grass would die and be replaced by dandelions and bindweed, and the soil would eventually be eroded. So we compromise by tending several designated wildflower patches and by mowing the grass and pulling the weeds.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. afrenchgarden says:

    Such an interesting post! We do cut our grass although I am sure we could leave parts and mow paths only. My concern is that strong perennial weeds would take over and blankets everything else out. Does this happen if one stops mowing? Amelia

    Liked by 1 person

    • cathysrealcountrygardencom says:

      Yes, you will get lots of wild plants and the areas that you never mow will not be the same, but you can mow some areas once a month for example, or after a particular flower has gone to seed : for example primroses, then dandelions, then lady’s smock, then bugle etc.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Historier says:

    I haven’t cut my lawn this year and it looks wonderful. And I don’t think I will be able to cut it for a few weeks yet. Perhaps after June.

    Liked by 1 person

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