A lawn is an asset to the garden. The wide space of even green turf complements flowers and shrubs beautifully.
On a hot day the dewy grass cools the air and makes sitting out more comfortable. Larger lawns make great play spaces for children in dry weather, being softer than paving in case of falls. They can be used for limited cricket and football games but do watch that balls stay in the garden. Disputes can occur between neighbours if too many balls crash into other peoples’ plants! The French game of Boules or Petanque is good in that balls are thrown low. A successful garden party can be held on a lawn with a Boules game as an added activity.
Lawns consist of many small grass plants. They need feeding in order to grow well. Weeds sometimes grow in lawns and take hours to dig out, aswell as damaging the lawn surface. Shady lawns have moss growing in them, which stifles the grass. Products which combine a lawn fertilizer with a moss killer and weed killer is available. One trade name is ‘Feed and Weed’ but, if you look on the boxes, other manufacturers make the same product under different names. However, you need to be clairvoyant (or just listen to the weather forecast) before applying the mixture as it needs to rain within a day or two, to water the chemicals into the lawn. If no rain falls during this time, watering in with a hose is best as, if left dry, the product scorches the grass.
A chore which comes with lawns (aswell as mowing them) is ‘scarifying’ – which is raking out old dead grass and moss. You may decide that all the mowing, feeding and scarifying is not for you, especially if the garden is small. A design of paving, with other areas of gravel, pebbles etc and more plants can be equally attractive. Evergreens will give the garden a better appearance in winter. Clipped Box is useful, also Hebes and dwarf Conifers. A flat area resembling a lawn can be made with plants which creep along the ground, such as Alpines. Garden Centre staff will be able to show you which types to use.
September is often a calm month and therefore advocated as a good time for painting and decorating. Garden furniture can be rubbed down and treated with wood preservative or paint. Choose brown if you want the furniture to blend in but brighter colours look good when eating out and when dressed up with patterned cloths, crockery, cushions and bunting. I hope you enjoy the tranquil, still warm weather in September – and Happy Gardening!