Circular sears, inequalities and bare patches

My latest gardening craze is the lawn. We have what one might call a fairly poor lawn – small, shaded, low, clay, compacted, worn, weedy: the works – so of course you would expect me to immerse myself in futile attempts to improve it.

Despite suffering from back problems again, I was out in the occasional drizzle today: aerating with a fork; wiggling out dandelion taproots with a screwdriver; and turning over entire clods of earth with a spade, to bury a buttercup infestation. Like that ever gets rid of buttercups. As I say, futile.

But how enjoyable nonetheless! To be out in the elements, but close enough to the house in case it turns genuinely nasty. To luxuriate in that dry hour, in which I actually managed to mow our weird, half-thatchy, half-bald ing carpet. To revel in the muddiness of the digging, as I ended my time outside with half-moon edger in hand, setting in motion my latest plan: all along one side of the lawn is now dug an inch-wide trench, between lawn and path; this edge will hopefully prefigure a gradual raising of the lawn a good centimetre or two above the concrete, over the next year.

With all my notions coming from a broadly organic background, and without the free time that a retiree might have to spend on their precious green baby, I know I will never have the perfect bowling green. But at least I might – just about – leave it better than when we inherited it. Burnt brown by dog wee, as it was nearly five years ago, it could scarcely end up worse.

Next time I expect to be distracted by my hobbies, though, I might keep the cat in beforehand, so as to reduce the cleaning-up required afterwards. One will always underestimate the distance over which mud on a cat’s paws remains wet.

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4 Responses to Circular sears, inequalities and bare patches

  1. 1looby says:

    Poor buttercups! I can’t imagine them doing anything as aggressive as “infesting” 🙂

    • smallbeds says:

      Oh, the creeping buttercup (sharper leaf lobes) is apparently known for it, especially when the soil is damp (it’s in the shade of the shed.) That whole patch was pretty much grassless and covered in wide buttercup leaves.

      I love buttercups generally, especially out in a meadow or playing field; but we’re having a difficult enough time keeping the clover at bay as it is. Also, as I say, I’m treating the lawn as a project. Give it twelve months and I’ll have moved on, leaving the buttercups alone to gradually creep back….

    • smallbeds says:

      (If it helps at all, there were no buttercup flowers yet. I wouldn’t have had the heart if so.)

  2. 1looby says:

    Ah well, there’s clearly another side of the buttercup!

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