Very Warm Greetings to all those lovely people who have taken the time to e-mail this blog with their comments and queries. After several years of working on this research project, it is very rewarding indeed to discover that so many people are interested in a new approach to lawn space.
Many of the questions I am being asked are site and location specific. I am unable to answer site/location specific questions at this time.
The trials were undertaken here in Reading, Berkshire. The native plants and cultivars initially used are clonal perennial forbs that can be found in almost every 10km square of the United Kingdom; so they should for the most part, suit any part of the UK, except for extreme environments. As would occur in any garden, the non-native plant species will be variable in their response to local conditions.
The grass-free floral lawn is currently an ongoing PhD research project. The research project is however not yet complete, and I therefore am unable to provide comprehensive lists of plant species. To do so would be premature.
A list of plant species that have been used in the Chelsea show lawns is available on the http://www.grassfreelawns.co.uk website. This is a good start point for those wanting to know what species have been used and therefore might be used.
I have not tested the lawns for dog urine resistance or the effects of extensive autumnal leaf coverage; and since the Reading experimental grounds are not adjacent to the sea or a motorway, the lawns have not been tested for salt tolerance. I am unable to answer questions regarding any of these issues. I think common sense can be applied to these questions and produce relevant answers.
It is perhaps worth remembering that turf lawns have been around for over 900 years. My experiments are in their fourth year. Practically, there will be many questions that remain unanswered simply because it is not humanly possible to answer them within the limited time frame allocated.
I will be adding to the FAQ section of the http://www.grassfreelawns.co.uk website in response to additional common queries that I receive that are not already answered there.
The methodology of laying the lawn and the effect of the seasons on the trial lawn is shown in the video links. Plants and seeds are available from plant nurseries, garden centers and seed companies both in the UK and from around the world.
How grass is initially removed from a grassy space is down to the owner. There are a variety of techniques from machines that lift turf, turf spades, chemicals, light blocking materials etc. The experimental plots here at Reading had the top 6cm of soil removed (by spade) to help remove the surface soil weed bank and to access the less fertile substrate lower in the soil profile.
Oh no! The gnomes are coming. Got to hide – they want more honey.
Until next time – Happy lawn gardening…..