Monty Don, the popular British gardener, and BBC Gardening world Host has changed our green fingers for years; however, his latest advice is possibly the most controversial.
The admired presenter has bad news for anyone who wants to create a pristine garden in time for the brighter seasons to come, because he asks us to distance ourselves from our lawnmowers and let our grass grow freely.
See: Monty Don’s tips for the perfect lawn – and the mistakes you make
In an interview with Radio times, Monty suggested that the urge to keep weed short is a male “obsession” that is all about “control.” Instead, he encouraged gardeners to keep their grass long to preserve local wildlife and avoid unnecessary fossil fuels.
“Mowing grass burns a lot of fossil fuels, makes a dirty noise, and is pretty much the most harmful thing you can do to wildlife,” said Monty.
“Growing grass, which is a fairly passive thing, is probably the most effective measure that can be taken in any garden of any size, particularly to encourage insect life, as well as small mammals, invertebrates, and reptiles.”
After admitting that he likes to walk barefoot on grass “like everyone else”, the gardener said that pristine and “striped” lawns are an “obsession”, especially for male gardeners.
“Making a lawn that is bare grass, with no dirty and alien plants in it, making it striped and tidy,” was a mostly male obsession associated with “control over hug,” “explained he.
In a similar vein, Monty also referred to the effects of the lockdown and how the extra time spent in the garden raised people’s awareness of the threat of global warming.
“People notice that it’s a little more flooded, or it’s a little warmer, or that the little flower whose name you don’t know blooms earlier than you remember five years ago. The net effect of this is, yes, it happens in my life, on my doorstep, and in and of itself it’s not a big deal – but that’s the point. ”
Monty’s advice may come as a surprise, but he isn’t the first globally admired gardener to urge people to get away from their lawnmowers. BBCs Spring watch Host Chris Packham also made headlines earlier this year after describing mowing as a “very bizarre habit”.
See: Take a tour of the area Monty Don’s beautiful long meadow garden in Herefordshire
Chris also spoke out against the mower’s impact on the environment, stating that if you let your grass grow freely before dividing it would be a win-win for gardeners and the environment:
“If you have space and can leave the lawn to a wildflower bed, you will see tremendous riches from that.”
While their advice is certainly not conventional, we cannot argue with their expertise. Will this be the summer of wild gardens and new wildlife habitats? Only time can tell.