Monday, May 17, 2021

No-Mow May


Around the beginning of the month, Dave suggested we take part in "No-Mow May," a campaign to "re-wild" our gardens by not mowing the lawn. Supposedly this lets insects hatch and bees emerge without sucking them up into a lawn mower, and allows wildflowers and other plant life to mature.

Here's the result in our garden so far -- an ocean of shaggy green. I kind of like it -- and actually there are a few wildflowers sprinkled here and there. Mainly white daisies, but also some clumps of ragwort that will eventually grow high and bloom yellow. And if we want, according to the charity Plantlife, we could proceed to "Let It Bloom June" and "Knee-High July"!

I bet Mrs. Kravitz would love that.

As I've mentioned many times before, we always let some wild things grow. You can see that the teasels by the birdbath have become quite monstrous. Dave calls them "dinosaur plants." This is their second year and they should bloom this summer; there are more behind the bird feeders.


And then there's "Borageland," the far corner of the garden. It's full of green alkanet, which has bright blue flowers and is a relative of borage, as well as purple-flowered comfrey. There's also great hairy willowherb, rosebay willowherb, buddleia, pink valerian, creeping buttercup, forget-me-nots, a burdock (lower right), a small teasel in front, and our fig tree at left with some daffodils and yellow primroses beneath it. And more stuff in the background, including that pinkish Prunus tree we transplanted.

This is the area that I tried turning into a wildflower garden a couple of years ago. It never quite became what I expected -- I thought I'd get meadow flowers like poppies and chicory -- but it basically is a wildflower garden of its own making.

See that clump of plants in front, just left of the burdock? I put that in the ground yesterday. It's our second Chinese lantern, and it had been growing in a pot, but the pot was colonized by a few other things as well -- some great hairy willowherb, purple verbena and what I originally thought was borage but now believe is actually a foxglove. Hopefully it will all prosper there. I'm just glad the lantern is still alive.


We have a couple of very large burdocks that should send up some impressive flower stalks later this summer. The sea kale that used to grow (sort of) in the garden died over the winter, but as I told Dave, the burdocks basically serve the same purpose, as big, leafy, attention-grabbing plants. And they're a heck of a lot easier to grow!

So, yeah, we like our weedy patch of ground.

45 comments:

  1. That's an impressive and sizeable garden for London - you will be the envy of many. I think I might do no-mow May... and June,.. and July .. ha ha ..

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    1. There's definitely a plus from a yardwork point of view! We are lucky to have this big garden. I only wish we owned it!

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  2. The shaggy green is beautiful. And no stray pieces of wood or other detritus to muck things up. I had to do a re-read of "very large burdocks." You can I'm sure imagine where my mind went the first time.

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    1. I do pick up the various limbs that occasionally drop from our walnut tree!

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  3. Excuse my cynical nature but it seems like a very good justification for not mowing the grass.

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  4. Replies
    1. Agreed, GZ. I am green (with envy). Not that I am not beautiful. What I lack is a garden.

      U

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    2. Thanks -- we are lucky to have it, though I wish we could say we owned it.

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  5. Some say that weedy guys have weedy gardens but I do not believe that.

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  6. Your no mow weedy patch looks like a wonderful place for some peaceful reading or reflection. That bench back there looks like a great spot. Inspirational post!

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    1. Thank you! In warmer weather that bench is a great place for reading or eating lunch or having a G&T. Unfortunately we haven't been able to use it much yet this year!

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  7. Love it. I think I would just mow a small path through to the bench and leave it for a bit, see what happens. Your garden is how gardens should look. Not all pristine and plucked.
    Briony
    x

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    1. I also think a path would be a good idea -- in fact I've suggested as much to Dave. For one thing, it would show the neighbors that we're doing this intentionally and not just being slobs. LOL

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  8. I love your garden! I wish we could get away with not mowing, but it's in our lease :(

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    1. I think ours also says something about maintaining the garden. We may be pushing the limits! LOL

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  9. I can only imagine what would happen here if we didn't mow at least some parts of the yard. Wouldn't be nearly as pretty as your garden!

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    1. In Florida you'd quickly have a thorny jungle populated by a couple hundred snakes!

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  10. I love that you are letting the yard go no mow. I am looking forward to seeing what grows and who shows up to enjoy the wild feast. This is a wonderful experiment.

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    1. It will be interesting to watch! Ultimately, though, we WILL have to mow. We'll see how it goes.

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  11. these are the best kinds of gardens, what I refer to as 'barely restrained chaos', my prefered gardening style. manicured gardens are boring.

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    1. I agree. I am not a fan of a formal garden.

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  12. Your yard and garden looks lovely. I think it's awesome that you can name every plant in the yard. My yard is full of all sorts of stuff and I have no clue. So I just let it grow. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

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    1. I don't know everything. Some of them are complete mysteries to me!

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  13. Where I live, all of the mowed green lawns line up in a row and so when one neighbor mows, within a few days all the rest of us are mowing so our grass doesn't look overgrown!

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    1. I know just what you mean -- that's one advantage to having garden fences! (Plus this is in the back of the house, though our front garden is pretty overgrown, too.)

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  14. Your garden looks so lush and healthy. All that tall grass looks so soft and rich. I bet Olga enjoys sitting out there. The wildflowers look great.

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    1. Olga LOVES the grass. She also likes eating it.

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  15. We do a No Mow May but it's really just because we've been lazy!

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    1. Well, that counts! The insects don't care about your motives!

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  16. Lovely garden Steve!
    I mentioned the idea of No Mow May to my personal gardener. His reply, you must be joking. I then mentioned Knee High July and he replied, want to get a scythe?

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    1. Yeah, we may wind up looking like a Soviet collective farm!

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  17. I can't help wondering how the foxes (and other wildlife) will like your weedy backyard. Since they're a wild animal I would suppose they'll enjoy it.

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    1. Yeah, they'll love it, I'm sure. They pretty much live in all that shrubbery in the back, even with the dog hanging around.

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  18. I love the idea of the No Mow May and the things that they come up with to try and save our bees and wildflowers and insects. Your grass is lush and so green. How does Olga enjoy being outside?

    It is a typical Monday here, and as usual I need to make some calls but everyone is out to lunch here I guess. I left a few voicemails but my phone has not rang! That is typical too lol. Have a awesome day. Hugs

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    1. Olga LOVES being out in the garden. She lies in the grass for hours when it's sunny.

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  19. Even your "wilding" garden looks attractive! I can't let our lawn grow because my neighbour mows it if I do - and then I feel bad.

    This post makes me picture you as an herbalist or apothecary from hundreds of years ago :)

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  20. Your garden is lovely and the grass is so green and looks so healthy.

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    1. Thanks! We do nothing to the grass -- no feeding, no watering. It's just good grass. (The British climate is pretty grass-friendly.)

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  21. Oh I like the wild look of it!

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  22. Loving The Lush Forest There - Enjoying The Photos Through The Last Few Post - Looking Forward To Seeing The Lioness ( Olga Girl ) Basking In The Cool Grass Next Week

    Cheers

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  23. I like a very sculpted lawn, so No Mow May would be tough for me!

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