The series of photos above was captured at The Courts in Holt, England. Here at Juniper Hill, we have taken a lesson from places like The Courts where we are allowing the grass in certain areas of the garden to grow longer throughout the season. Not only do I like the look of contrasting mown areas against the longer grass but these untrimmed areas provide food, cover and shelter for many species of birds, butterflies and native wildlife, including countless numbers of beneficial insects. Many orchardists are also looking more closely at mowing frequencies as a way to control fruit-eating insect pests and are finding that there’s a dramatic increase in the natural enemies of these pests when minimal mowing is practiced. If you have an area in your garden where you can cut back on the mowing (something none of us should mind), why not give it a try?
Clockwise from upper left: a mown path leads to a bench under three oak trees in the Vermont garden of Gordon and Mary Hayward; a sinuous path marks the approach to the pool house in the Connecticut garden of Bunny Williams; a Cardinal Meadowhawk Dragonfly enjoys the longer grass at Juniper Hill; a series of mown paths cut through a section of the garden at Sissinghurst in England.