Never never again – if I had known just what hard work and how much time and labour would be involved, I would never have undertaken to sew my own lawn. After days of raking, treading in, de-stoning, removing stubborn thistles and docks, interspersed with desperate bouts of yoga, upward cat and downward dog, or whatever such contortionist postures are called! All in order to preserve my fragile spinal cord. The perfect flat surface was created. My rust red clay canvas was now ready for premium quality lawn seed. Everyone I spoke to offered advice, usually conflicting, however I finally succumbed and borrowed a lawn seed spreading machine – a sort of trough on wheels with spikes. There is at least one gadget for absolutely every task on this planet. Backwards and forwards, up and down horizontally and vertically, I wheeled my sowing machine until there was so much seed on the ground it looked like a shag pile carpet. More raking – who needs a personal trainer, take it from me, the garden is just one big gym. At last my task was complete. What I needed now was rain. And guess what happened, after the wettest July and August that I can remember, a huge high from the Azores settled over Herefordshire, and the sun shone for what seemed like days on end. Desperate measures were called for and I invested in a snake like sprinkler and watered my arid desert of a garden. As soon as the sprinkler made an appearance the heavens opened and it has not stopped raining since, I am now worrying about all my grass seed being washed away in the monsoonal downpours. The stress is endless. Things were not helped by the local digger man who came last night, to look at another garden project under consideration, taking one look at the extensive brown earth patch around my house and commenting ‘That’s never going to work, like, too compacted, see’. That night I cried
There is a God, at least one of Grass Seed. Today I woke up, opened my curtains and there is definitely a green tinge to the ground, almost shimmering, a mirage effect, all around my house. I rushed downstairs and outside to double check, this verdant apparition wasn’t just created by my lawn seed having gone mouldy. It wasn’t and at last I can confirm that, three weeks and two days later, I have the beginnings of the quintessential garden lawn. There is a wonderful poem by Rudyard Kipling, entitled ‘The Glory of the Garden’ and all my horiticultural endeavours remind me of those memorable lines:
Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing:-” Oh, how beautiful,” and sitting in the shade
Nobody can accuse me of that!