COLUMN: Will you take on No Mow May?

Summer meadow. Red clover flowers on the field.

Are you up for leaving your lawn through May? - Credit: Amanda Armstrong

A campaign was started a few years ago, the idea being that for the month of May you abandon your mower and allow nature to simply take its course.  

Are you up to the challenge?

It’s become hugely popular since its inception, with local councils and the National Trust joining in.  

And the best part is that you’re asked to do absolutely nothing! Just to leave your lawn alone for a month.

I can sense some of you pulling a face, imagining the long grass, the whole scruffiness of it. Dandelions emerging and, heaven forbid, patches of grass growing at different heights! So untidy it puts your teeth on edge.

But think again.

By allowing your lawn and the wildflowers therein to grow freely for just 31 days you’ll be doing your bit for the wildlife, the environment and possibly your own sense of joy.

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You’ll be surprised by how many flowers will appear. From daisies, dandelions and selfheal to creeping buttercups, clover and vetch.

A myriad of plant life that will turn your lawn into a biodiversity hotspot.

It won’t take long for the birds, bees and butterflies to arrive. You’ll have started a wildlife food chain right there in your garden. 

And the pollinators won’t just stop at the flowers in your lawn, they’ll travel around pollinating other plants too. So your whole garden will benefit.

If you can’t imagine allowing your entire patch to run wild then perhaps a compromise?

One approach is to mow the edges to give a neat border while allowing the area within to flourish.

Or why not mow a path or two through your lawn so that you can still reach your favourite seat without disturbing the longer grass.

Or an idea that works well in a smaller garden is to leave a circle of grass alone and to simply mow around it. This satisfies the need for a ‘tidy’ lawn but juxtaposes it with an area of beauty, frivolity and wild abandon.  

Who knows, you might like the effect so much it becomes a permanent fixture. The bees will thank you for it.