And a sacred element of his domain
is the shed which contains the mower to cut the lawn.
These three are the holy trinity.
And to have a ride-on is truly a penis-extension of the first order!
Now, as a student I had to work out the costs of looking after different types of garden space. And I clearly remember shrubs being the cheapest and fine turf the most expensive.
So British gardeners might think about this when they lay out their gardens. The time involved in mowing, even with a ride-on is another consideration.
You could of course also be honourably thinking carbon and water. Though truth to tell most british lawns are less controversial in terms of their need for water than those in some of the drier parts of USA.
But we certainly do think of all these issues when designing and so share with you a project currently on our books.
Our clients JL and E L , hereafter the Ls, live in a detached house in rural north east Somerset.
There are expansive views to the south, west and north:
There is however very little level ground.
And like many other properties around here this house has the air of being perched on the top of a slope:
As you can see the L’s mow their grass closely.
But their reward after their labours is to sit on a rather uneven, and in places pokey, terrace:
which does little justice to the views you perceive from it.
So lawns and terraces were very much part of our brief for this garden.
In the larger country gardens we are now often suggesting leaving grass to meadow length, throughout the summer as here:
So in our design for the Ls we would certainly be thinking of this rather than their closely mown turf.
Our partnership practice is to show clients a pencil sketch stage of our proposed design in order that they can feed into the process and nudge us in a different direction if they choose. We are apt to colour in roughly the various areas as we talk about them to the client.
Which has the merit of gradually unfolding the design and clarifying it.
So bravely we share that sketch with you:
Aside from widening their drive, delineating which trees to keep, fell and replant, providing a turning circle in front of the house and creating a level lawn suitable for a marquee to the North (!!)we are also going to create a raised curving terrace which laps the south, west and north sides of the house:
It will contain paving, planting and lawn:
Several different paved seating areas allow you to move with the sun and the the wind. They are linked by stepping stones in grass. One area,the floral pavement, will contain as much planting as paving through which you weave your way. Tightly mown turf sweeps between all of them, but elsewhere, such as on the banks of the terrace, the grass will mostly be meadow length.
The L’s liked this design and with refinements it is being drawn up at the moment.
However we still slightly hanker after the one that got away:
Here the terrace is completely paved with linear borders packed with wafting perennials and grases through which you see the western sun descend.
We imagined swathes of lavender, nepeta, verbena and perovskia. Stipa gigantea would be back lit. Clusters of box cubes would give structural contrast. The paving would have been stuffed with thyme and penny royal.
It even has a secluded hot tub.
Shame that one got away!
Now folks, lawns really are a hot topic in the States.
So do check in with our esteemed fellow Round Tablers and members of the equally august Lawn Reform Coalition to feast on their views about lawns and lawn alternatives!