26 May 2016

Dare to let your grass grow

Bruce Langridge

I’ve been talking to Isabel Macho, Carmarthenshire County Council’s inspirational Biodiversity Officer.

She’s leading a campaign to encourage people to set aside small areas of lawns or grass for pollinators, which they might manage at home or as part of school grounds, cemeteries, public buildings, play areas or around businesses. It’s a great idea and one that resonates strongly with us here in Garden, not only with all the research we’re doing on pollinators but also because this is exactly what we’ve done on parts of the Garden.

Isabel wanted a photo that showed the effects of letting the grass grow so I’ve just popped out and taken these photos on the ‘lawns’ between the Great Glasshouse and Upper Broadwalk. Rather nice timing as a good amount of southern marsh-orchids Dactylorhiza praetermissa have just come into flower over the past couple of daysThese purple beauties have only appeared on these ‘vistas’ in the past 3-4 years as have cowslips Primula veris, which have now finished flowering this year. We dared to let our grass long here about five or six years ago, and what was once fairly lifeless lawn has since become something of a wildlife paradise – we cut it in August after the wildflowers have had time to flower and drop their seeds. Look closely and you’ll find all kinds of wildflowers in here and if the sun’s out, you’ll see lots of different types of bee, hoverfly and butterfly too.

Come and have a look – you might be inspired to let a patch of your garden grow.