A new grass-free lawn at Reading

Oh yes. Grown industriously by our very own grounds folk, I can take no credit in the first of two new grass-free lawns at the University of Reading. Mr Giles E. Reynolds, our fine and upstanding Head of Grounds here at Reading has taken the concept and applied it.

The first of two new grass-free lawns at Reading

The first of two new grass-free lawns at Reading

Now, here the lawn has been freshly laid. It has yet to be watered in or receive a rolling to level it out and compress the trays to the local soil (I was quick with the camera).

It will look a bit squished for a day or two after rolling, but it is essential to have a level lawn at the start, otherwise the mowers blade is likely to cause a bit of damage on that first day of mowing. Some of the plants in their rectangular tray shapes are looking a little winter weary (and half drowned actually) – as many were grown and kept outside over winter, but they will probably cheer up with this early spring sunshine we are having.

Another even more splendiferous lawn is on the way – so I am told. I’m very chuffed indeed.

The ‘other’ lawn (my one) is looking particularly splendiferous itself at the moment.

Splendiferousness!!!

Splendiferousness!!!

 

I should also point out that the University’s wildflower meadow has perked up a bit:

Wildflower Meadow

Wildflower Meadow

As promised here is a cowslip in the grass-free lawn.

Cowslip in the lawn

Cowslip in the lawn

 

Oh and while I had my camera to hand a tortoiseshell butterfly came for a drink at the Lesser Celandine bar (Ficaria verna), which used to be Ranunculus ficaria, or sometimes known as Ficaria grandiflora. Now here is a plant that can get some hackles up if ever there was one.

Left to its own devices wild form lesser celandine can get quite rampant. It’s one of those plants that should be used sparingly and ornamental cultivars are better forms. They tend to be not quite as vigorous. There is one wild form plant in the lawn (its very obvious by its vigour) and I am half tempted to remove it but, not yet I think. The leaves don’t last long and the sun is shining and the butterflies are drinking. Perhaps I’ll think on it again on a cold, wet, dull day and change my mind, we shall see.

Tortoiseshell butterfly amid the daisies.

Tortoiseshell butterfly amid the daisies.

The lesser celandine is being given a run for its money by the daisies in this image. I was the same situation last year. I keep waiting for the celandine to be problematic but it seems to be held in check at the moment. Amazing what goes on in a lawn eh!

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *