Every year without fail, the rapid spring growth serves as a reminder of who really is boss in this garden, and it's not me. It's Mother nature and she has big plans for our garden. She wants to turn it into a meadow. Then, she'll leave it as a meadow until the trees have self seeded, grown tall and established, then it will be a forest, just like it was 150 years ago. If it wasn't for my endless mowing, weeding, mulching and trimming edges, this garden would turn into a meadow in about a year I reckon.
This never ending battle to fight off the meadow requires an armoury of garden tools that clutter and spill out of the potting shed and garage: lawn mower, brush cutter; hedge clippers and an assortment of hand tools. And while the big petrol guzzling machines may be the most effective, they need constant petrol, oil, servicing and replacement parts. Usually one of them is broken or at the mower shop at any given time.
Interestingly enough, a small but growing army of gardeners in the next village down the road have turned to the age old tool of the scythe. They've taken to cutting each others' meadows for hay. Much to the bemusement of the local petrol heads. Beautiful to look at, and with a bit of practice, just as effective as its modern counterparts, it's quiet without any moving parts to break. A friend kindly lent me their scythe this week so I could see for myself how it faired in the meadow fighting stakes. I need some practice for sure, but the gentle side to side movement and the irresistible sound of the steel cutting the grass makes this option very appealing. Working outdoors, listening to the sound of the birds, with no ear muffs, no stinky petrol fumes and finishing the job with neat pile of cut grass, what's not to love. It's a winner. Have a look here at how effective these scythes can be.
Yep, I think I'll be adding one of these to my Christmas wish list. I'm sure Mother nature would approve.