Having a striped lawn has become something of a guilty pleasure. Our love of formality may have increased within gardens – particularly those in towns, where clipped box and yew reign supreme – but lawns are somehow sidelined, often to be replaced with neatly raked gravel or York stone, which is invariably imported from India.
Bring back the stripes, I say. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so worth doing as having an evenly striped lawn to show off your flower beds, your topiary and even your raked gravel.
Secrecy of lawns
Granted, turf culture is something of a dark art – rather like arboriculture. Those who look after the famous greenswards at St Andrews and Wimbledon are regarded with awe by we mere mowers. They have techniques and preparations that remain a closely guarded secret. Where we talk about increasing the height of cut, they will talk about “raising their knives”; there is a buccaneering sound to it.