The Real Importance of Lawns
I have a fairly large lawn in comparison to the rest of my garden, basically its flower beds in waiting.
When my borders get too full then I just extend it out into a bit more lawn by cutting a bit more turf.
I mow often, but only because I want to be able to get up the garden without need ing a machete, I don’t feed and I definitely don’t weed, and because of this my lawn supports at least 15 other plant species than grass.
My lawn supports an abundance of Daisy’s, Dandelions, Plantains, Hawkbits…. all of which get plenty of attention from various insects throughout the day.
Thyme-Leaved Speedwell, a tiny little plant which is easily missed. Small flowers about 2mm across with pale blue stripes.
Very small and very gorgeous, this was growing in a patch I did not move for a couple of weeks, if I had look what I could have missed.
Hoverflies making the most of an extra flower available.
Now apparently The 17th-century botanist Nicholas Culpeper wrote that the plant is called Self-heal because ‘when you are hurt, you may heal yourself’, not sure how that would work if you chopped your finger off though.
Common mouse-ear is a short-lived perennial, native in grassland and in open cultivated and waste ground.
I’ve seen it just about everywhere, however the flowers are tiny.
I’d have to say only about 30% of my lawn is actual grass, 20% must be other plant species and at least 50% must be Moss. The common moss found in lawns is called Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus, it’s very common and resilient in all weathers and aspects. At least in hot weather my lawn stays green.
Buttercups, pick a flower, if it reflects yellow then apparently you like Butter… or is it custard..?
I usually leave several sections of lawn uncut throughout the summer, it allows the flowering plants to produce flowers and the insects and pollinators to make use of them, the white clover flowers are in particular very attractive to bees. Many insects and mammals will make use of patches of long grass, I’ve seen my visiting Hedgehog in there, moths, House Sparrows and Starlings.
The RSPB do some excellent factsheets on improving gardens, the following is a factsheet on lawns for wildlife. http://www.rspb.org.uk/hfw/factsheets/HFW06.pdf