Garden lore

” You have only to think of the front gardens you drive past in summer that are planted up almost entirely with dwarfs to realise how lacking in character and individuality they are. Such plants never get off the ground; they are mere colour explosions.”

The Well Tempered Garden by Christopher Lloyd (1973)

Summer lawn care

Set your lawnmower a notch higher for summer, or several notches higher if you are one who scalps your lawn. It is a myth that if you cut your lawn very short, it will need less mowing. In fact if you cut it very short, you weaken the grass growth to the point where it is likely to die off over summer and what you get instead is an invasion of weeds. Paspalum, kikuyu, summer grasses and flat weeds – all will thrive in the vacuum you are creating. Without exception, good lawns and turf are cut a little longer. If you have neglected, long, rank grass (which can happen at holiday homes), don’t try and get it down in one hit. Cut first on the highest setting. Wait a few days and then cut a second time to the desired length. Your grass is less likely to go into shock and die over summer.

First published in the Waikato Times and reprinted here with their permission.