BMWs, icons of the allotment garden – The Royal Gazette


Updated: Sep 12, 2022 7:57 AM

Use a blower then rake up the leaves or the next breeze will mess them up again

Have you ever noticed the number of BMWs your landscaper arrives with to use on your property, and how much that demonstrates the impact on aesthetic value, visually and physically?

From a garden maintenance perspective, blowers, mowers and brushcutters are a relatively recent addition to the list of “tools of the trade” of garden tools.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and a thing of beauty should be a joy forever, if cared for and kept to an acceptable standard. Fallen foliage is a valuable source of compost – if stored properly – and can be recycled back into the garden when ready. Small clippings of twigs and dead flowers can also be composted for future use, which is an asset to the garden as well as saving money by not having to be transported by truck.

Lawns are most attractive when composed of lawn grasses mowed to a designated height and maintained to encourage a thick, consistent layer of lawn grass without weed infestation. Mowing is an essential exercise in lawn care, with the height of cut being a key factor in achieving a good weed-free lawn.

Not so long ago, lawn edging was done by long arm shears which gave a nice straight finish which was followed by a “turning over” of the soil from the edge of the lawn with a half moon, forming thus a V which stopped the lawn growing in the flower bed.

Weeding of hard landscaped areas and tall weeds in the flowerbeds was maintained using a Dutch hoe. This was particularly useful in flower beds as it was an easy exercise to push the hoe across the surface of the soil, which removed germinating seeds and young plants, including roots. Pruning was an exercise done with secateurs – for small cuts – pruners and handsaws for larger prunings.

Are BMWs worth billing as efficient and valuable time-saving entities? Consider the facts: blowers are used, in most cases, to disperse leaves, etc., to any location, as long as they are out of sight. This means they are likely to be scattered more around the garden during the next windy period. Collecting them and composting them on site or removing them from the site would be much more advantageous in terms of time and money.

The mowers are pulled out of the back of the truck and rolled around the lawn at the height the blades are set to, which isn’t good for the grass in the short or long term. The height of cut should be dictated by the type of grass, as this will create a visually superior lawn and, with proper weed control, a lawn that is free of weeds and has a thick carpet.

Weeders, the tool for any accessible job that needs to be downsized and/or generally disfigured, create curved contours of the lawn while scouring lumps of dirt from the surface.

More haste less speed is the average landscape upkeep at a tee; speed reduces the observation exercise which is a valuable tool for identifying potential problems and dealing with them accordingly. An insect infestation or disease can spread quickly if not noticed in its early stages, resulting in a badly damaged plant or a “disfigured” lawn appearance.

It seems that the need for garden maintenance knowledge is slowly receding into the annals of history, which I believe diminishes the aesthetic values ​​of the garden and the landscape in general. It’s an old saying, “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”; it can also be an expensive exercise to start.

In today’s fast-paced lifestyle, it’s worth occasionally remembering the “good old days” when life was slower and “measure twice and cut once” was a axiom accepted!

Malcolm Griffiths is a trained horticulturist and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture in the UK. He is also past president of the Bermuda Horticultural Society, the Bermuda Orchid Society and the Bermuda Botanical Society.


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