Last month was #NoMowMay during which we were encouraged to let the grass grow and allow bees, butterflies and other wildlife to thrive unmolested by your lawnmower. Our townhouse in the centre of Liverpool does not have enough space for a lawn so I have not mown a lawn since we moved here from the USA nearly a decade ago. In the USA we followed the convention and maintained our front lawn as manicured green carpet by watering daily, mowing weekly and feeding it monthly during the summer. An automatic sprinkler system looked after the watering and a lawn service provided monthly doses of chemicals; however, we walked up and down behind the lawnmower each week. Much to my disappointment, our garden was not really large enough to justify a garden tractor or sit-on mower which has been a dream since I learnt my first self-taught engineering by ‘repairing’ my father’s green ATCO lawnmower when I was about 10 or 12. I was not allowed lift the bonnet or hood of the family car; and so as the only other piece of mechanical engineering in the garage that has an engine, the lawnmower became the focus of my attention. I suspect that old lawnmower did not run any better as a result of my ministrations but I certainly understood how an internal combustion engine worked by the time I went to university. I am an enthusiastic supporter of letting the grass grow, perhaps with a mown pathway so that the lawnmower has to be re-assembled periodically by whichever budding engineer has dismantled your lawnmower.
Source: Joy Lo Dico, How the lawn became a no-mow area, FT Weekend, 29/30 May 2021.
Image: An ATCO 17-inch petrol lawnmower similar to the one mentioned above, from http://www.lawnmowersshop.co.uk/atco-17-inch-self-propelled-petrol-lawnmower-b17.htm