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Sowing a new lawn
I’m not one for manicured lawns. I think lawn weeds are pretty. I’d really like clumps of bird’s foot trefoil, dandelions, daisies, creeping buttercup and self-heal growing among the grass in my garden. In fact, I’ve just planted some clover and moss.
I have grand plans for my lawn. It’s only tiny, but it will be full of pretty ‘weeds’, wildflowers and crocus. Butterflies will lay eggs in it, bees will drink nectar from it and I will sunbathe on it.
At the moment I can’t really describe what I have as a lawn. Our first job when we moved into our new flat was to lift the paved courtyard at the back, remove the sand and builders’ rubble and buy in lots of topsoil (this used up my garden budget, so we couldn’t buy any turf). We then sowed some grass seed – one mix for shady areas, one regular blend and one with wildflower seeds – and watched the pigeons eat it all up. We made a scarecrow with a mop, a garden fork, an old shirt and some plastic bags and sowed some more. The pigeons didn’t like the scarecrow, but the seed didn’t germinate and I got bored and trod over the mud to access the planters. Then the scarecrow fell over and got muddy so I dismantled it and the pigeons ate the seed.
My quality topsoil got traipsed into the flat, lodged in the tyres of our bikes and transported across town, into our offices. There’s some under my desk now.
In desperation, I came up with a solution to my lack of lawn. I sow the seed indoors, where it germinates quickly, then take it outside and transplant it into the mud. Everyone else is sowing tomatoes and chillies, excitedly tending seedlings. I’m transplanting grass.