Sit back and watch the flowers grow
We love No Mow May, an initiative launched in 2019 which asks nothing more than we lock up our lawn mowers for a month and watch the wildflowers grow. As campaigns go, it could not be simpler to follow, nor easier to understand. As a country we have lost a shocking 97%of our natural wild flower meadows since the 1930’s, depriving our native pollinators of nectar and contributing to the rapid decline of biodiversity. In liberating your lawn for one month, not only will you be countering this, but you will also encourage native wild flowers back into your garden, without actually lifting a finger.
And when you sit in the sun and read a book at that moment when last year might have been mowing, take a look at what might be growing where once only grass was allowed: last year over 250 plant species were recorded as part of the no mow initiative, many of them very rare like meadow saxifrage and knotted clover. Imagine the delight of spotting a bee orchid as you sip your morning coffee, or a cluster of snakes head fritillaries as you snooze in the long grass.
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There are, of course, critics of the project, those who contest that in leaving your lawn to go feral in May it will only encourage a more radical approach to eliminating the weeds in June. But we think this is short-sighted, and that in fact the campaign is gently encouraging us to think more holistically about our gardens. It has already been a while since the immaculate, perfectly mowed and unnaturally green lawn was considered the pinnacle of good British gardening. We have all started to wise up to the potentially harmful chemicals required to achieve such a vision, and found more interesting things to do in summer than incessant rounds of weeding, aerating, rolling and mowing. Lawns are definitely shrinking, giving way to gravel gardens, vegetable patches and large unruly borders. Nobody is saying that you can’t mow a pathway or a patch for a picnic, but if you can allow our flowering wild flowers to get a firm foothold in their crucial May growing season, the chances are that you won’t want to chop their pretty little heads off in June either.
Culture Vulture: Things to do in SpringGet some garden inspiration