How to ensure the grass isn’t greener in your neighbour’s garden

A recent report in The Telegraph newspaper explained how experts were worried about the state of UK gardener’s lawns in the coming years. At this time of year there is not much you can do about your lawn. After all the rain we have had, made most lawns are too wet to even walk on them.

Here’s what The Telegraph had to say:

“Experts fear the British summer will be prone to extreme weather conditions in years to come, with periods of torrential rain and prolonged droughts becoming the norm.

As a result maintaining a classic lawn will get harder, prompting warnings that gardeners seeking the ‘bowling green’ look will have to make do with rougher grass instead.

Drier springs and wetter summers will also ensure plants in beds and borders will struggle to flourish.

The stark warning was been made by experts from the Met Office and the horticultural world during a recent Royal Horticultural Society conference.

Professor Richard Bisgrove, an expert in turf management and garden history, believes people will have to abandon the dream of having the perfect lawn”.

Richard was the lead plant lecturer on my garden design course at Reading University back in 1999 and he was a fantastic teacher. I learnt so much from him that I still apply to my garden business today. His lawn tips from The Telegraph are really useful:

“Instead gardeners should raise the height of their lawnmower blades in the summertime to ensure a healthy patch of grass.

The retired University of Reading lecturer said: “My own view is that climate change won’t affect gardens dramatically but the weather will.

“Nobody can tell one year to the next what we will have.

“In terms of grass I would say to a large extent the less effort you put into it the better.

“People should accept a slightly higher cut of grass, more daisies and buttercups.

“In general, intensive inputs into grass management are futile.

“If you are after the perfect lawn you have to cut it closely, at least once a week, burning fossil fuels, using more fuel.

“There are some people for whom the perfect bowling green lawn is the only thing they can live with so they will have to pay the price for it.

“Very short grass will go brown in just a short spell of dry weather so you have to irrigate, remove moss and weeds which all uses up more resources.

“Most people who now aim for the bowling green look are probably over the age of 75.

“Most younger people are willing to hack at it a bit when it bothers them then leave it at that.”

Professor Julia Slingo, the chief scientist at the Met Office, also believes gardeners will need to adapt to the change.

She said: “We should all be worried about climate change, we are taking the planet into unchartered territories through our own activities.

“We are taking our planet into a climate that we haven’t seen for a very, very long time, going back to before there were gardens in the UK.

“For us in the UK we will be buffered from most of the climate change because we live downstream from the Atlantic Ocean, that is why we have lovely gardens now.

“(The weather) will continue to be very variable and as gardeners we need to adapt to that.”

You can certainly say that again. Let’s see how we can all adapt to the variations in weather this year and hope it’s not the wettest drought we have ever experienced!


If you have a garden project in mind and need some garden design advice or help with planting then please get in touch. I work on garden design projects across Lincolnshire, Rutland and Northampton. Tel: 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.