Summer shorn

Summer, lovely hot and sunny summer. Aaah!

Actually the season seems to be moving faster than usual and the flush of flowers has passed in the lawns (need to find some late flowering mowing tolerant non-natives I suspect – suggestions?), and they were looking in need of a short back and sides. I’m not responsible for the University’s lawns these days and it was the lovely ladies who look after the walled garden who decided time to chop.

Now the lawns are neat and tidy and look, well, like lawns….

Neatened up.

Neatened up.

Almost at eye level.

Almost at eye level.

Top view

Top view

If you look closely, there are still a few flowers in the freshly shorn lawn, but this is where foliage comes into it’s own. I notice this year that the plants that don’t struggle too much in a bit of heat are showing themselves more than ever before. The generally moist and relatively cool summers of the last few years didn’t see them thrive the way they have this year. The value of plants with mixed tolerances and preferences becomes clear. The British weather will be variable – of that we can be sure!

There will be some more flowers again in just two to three weeks (weather depending), and if the heat continues (I SO enjoyed the days at 30C) the lawns may yet show the drought tolerance demonstrated in the mini drought of last July.

My days here at Reading are drawing to a close. I shall still be keeping an eye on the lawns though. Actually, I wouldn’t mind a little help in transforming this proven concept into a format that makes it available to the gardening public. I’m finding commercial horticulture is not as receptive to new ideas as I had hoped.

Fortitude Lionel, Fortitude!