LONDON – In this green and pleasant country, English lawn consultant David Hedges-Gower recently felt he had no choice but to mobilize to protect an institution under threat.
Well-manicured lawns are under attack, says Hedges-Gower, 55, chairman of the recently formed Lawn Association. “Turf plays a big role in our world,” he says. “The poor training of prominent gardeners is unbearable.”
The target of much of Mr. Hedges-Gower’s anger is British celebrity gardener Monty Don and a growing movement to let lawns go long.
Last month, Mr. Don, a broadcaster on a popular BBC garden show, broke down In an interview with Radio Times magazine, the longstanding English convention is one of them and urges British men to end their “obsession” with densely planted lawns to warn that they are “burning a lot of fossil fuel, making a dirty noise and am most harmful are what you can do with wildlife. “
Amid environmental concerns, some of the UK’s finest lawns are flirting with re-wilding. Much of the once-revered Black Lawn at King’s College, Cambridge University was turned into a meadow last year. Several quads at Oxford University have gone the same route. A #NoMowMay campaign is gaining traction online. The UK conservation organization National Trust recently released a video explaining how to build a ‘scaremow’ – a variant of a scarecrow that stands on a lawn to discourage pruning.