At what age does a man become obsessed with his lawn?
This past year I’ve spent more time thinking about, my lawn then ever before. It occupies about half of my back garden, is about at 40 feet long by 20 feet wide and with the sun shining, all freshly mown and neatly edged it’s a beautiful sight.
I am sure the months of lockdown and weeks of quarantine have contributed to this growing! obsession as at times there has been little else to do.
Over the years I’ve created ever straighter and neater edges to all four sides of the lawn. Down the middle is a windy path consisting of 25 spaced out slabs which has been my main focus this year.
In the first week of lockdown I spent a large part of two days jet-washing away years of moss growth and grime that had discoloured each slab.
Now they look fantastic and every couple of weeks I spend an hour with my favourite garden tool – my lawn edger – trying to keep them that way.
During the growing season I mow it weekly with my new Einhell Self Propelled petrol mower which as the name suggests is hell to use, constantly gouging and gashing my lawn turf.
I’ve given it a year to improve its performance but it hasn’t so next year I’ll be eBaying it and getting another trusty Mountfield.
This year I’ve reseeded a number of bare patches – shady areas near the lawn edge. I followed all the instructions, carefully scattering the seeds, trampling them down gently and watering every day.
Like watching a kettle boiling at first nothing much happens then all of a sudden it greens a bit before eventually new grass appears. For a while the virgin grass stands out as a lighter green than the rest of the lawn before it eventually starts to blend in.
Once the lawn is mown, finishing touches include a quick session with the clipping shears and a gentle swoosh over the errant long grass with my new strimmer
When I mow, I imagine myself as a Wimbledon groundsmen pirouetting balletically with the mower as I get to the end of each row.
Next year I’m going to take my lawn love a step further – feeding it perhaps, killing the weeds, maybe one day a roller.
It’s even become a topic of conversation in the pub with my next door neighbour who has a similar size lawn.
Never did I imagine that this gardening chore I used to hate with a passion in my twenties is a genuine source of passion in my sixties.
Latest news is that a flock of wood pigeons descend on the lawn most days and peck messily all over the lawn which I find very distressing! I’m thinking of erecting a scare crow.
I can’t decide whether I’m a sad old man with nothing better to do or whether I should celebrate that I can now get pleasure out of watching grass grow!