Sunday, 5 July 2015

A-scything we go.. eat you heart out, Poldark!

Ah, happy days, a chance to use my scythe again, second time this year: one of my Clients has a wonderful display of spring bulbs in their front lawn, but the downside is that once you cut back the grass, it looks nasty and brown for a couple of weeks until it recovers.

As they were participating in the village Open Gardens, we decided not to cut back the bulb foliage and grass until after the opening, on the grounds that overlong grass areas clearly said "aha, you should've been here in spring, we had BULBS!" whereas brown grass just says "dead grass".

So it didn't get cut back as normal, but was left to grow - and a surprising number of wild flowers appeared, so much so that we are now thinking about adding in some more of them, to make it prettier while we are waiting for the bulbs to die back.

Once the Open Garden day was over, we realised that the mower was not going to be able to get through the knee-high grass at all, so I took my scythe along and cleared it.

First job - pick up my scything kit.

This includes the blade and snathe (long wooden handle), along with the white pack which contains the side handles, my honing stone, water sheath and so on.

I also take two water bottles (one for me, one for honing) and the just-in-case first aid kit.

Well, better to take it and not need it...

Here is my first target, a small Magnolia, thoroughly swamped by the overlong grasses.

Three minutes later,  all done. One Magnolia safely released from being smothered, one pile of new-mown hay to be raked up and disposed of.

There is such a pleasure in scything - it's so much nicer than pushing a mower around.

I then moved around the lawn, taking down all the long grass patches.

Job done - all I have to do is rake up the rest of the mowings and pop them onto the compost heap.

And all without breaking into a sweat!

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