Six-on-Saturday – No Man Went To Mow

First off, I put away every long-sleeved shirt I could find, and it then seemed sensible to bring out the shorts and sandals. And all because there’s no R in the month. True to expectations, it’s been warm and sunny by day and mild at night. The glasshouse has remained open. The annual plants are outside and fingers are crossed that we don’t get stupid weather like we did last May.

This merry month is being pushed as No Mow May. Let the grass grow. Put the mower away. Indeed, I came across an interesting article urging us to get rid of our beautifully maintained lawns. Josh Sims hits hard. He reminds us that it’s time to rethink our fetish for a manicured lawn. On a cultural level, One Man Went To Mow is now very inappropriate, and should no longer feature on the school maths curriculum as a counting aid. In any case, there’s a bit of sexism there too. Yes, gnéasachas pure and simple.

You’ll find no lawn on my patch, just an occasional stray seed that appears among the patio cracks, carried on the wind or left behind by a passing bird. So, with nothing to mow, fertilise or weed, my footprint of carbon is lower. I’m definitely turning back the tide, lowering sea levels and reducing the ferocity of winter storms. Added to all that, I’ve got so much time on my hands that getting something ready for Six-on-Saturday is a doddle. That said, what has caught my eye sa gháirdín this week? Here we go after such a long-winded introduction…

Bachelor’s Buttons

This is Tanecetum, known also as Feverfew. It has several other names, one of which is Bachelor’s Buttons. It’ll flower in mid-June I’d imagine. I’ve featured it several times over the past two years. The foliage has an unusual smell, and can be used as an insect repellant. Some folks like it, some don’t. Insects don’t. Known as the aspirin of the 18th century, it was taken to alleviate migraine headaches. I can’t speak for insects, but I’d wager a tenner with Paddy Power that in a stressful season, they’d be subject to a headache or two now and again. It’s a jungle out there! For the life of me I can’t see the bachelor connection.

Grass

Using chemicals is frowned upon and getting rid of grass that grows among the cracks is like trying to keep the tide out. Want an instant fix? Use boiling water. Perfect for that spot where there’s no danger of killing nearby friendly plants. A word of warning though… if you’re wearing sandals, use an outstretched arm. Sandals do not react well to boiling water.

Geum

Geum is a perennial evergreen. It’s part of the Rose family, creid nó ná creid. It likes a sunny spot but now that it’s in flower, I’ve moved it to semi-shade because it dries out too quickly.  The strange thing is that it shouldn’t be in flower until July!

Lettuce

Who’d have thought that the flower of lettuce would last so long? I can’t remember when this was sown, probably last Autumn. In any case there’s so much lettuce at various stages of growth that I let this one go full circle. It’s up to chin height, and sways gently. It’ll not grow any taller, as it puts all its energy into creating seeds.

Clematis

Clematis Montana was planted in this corner last year. Normally such a vigorous variety, it’s constrained a bit by being in a pot. In fact, it’s not a very large pot. Anyways, it’s in flower this week. The corner is in shade until mid-afternoon, but summer sun would do damage so I boxed in the pot to keep the roots cool.

Click/tap & zoom

Campanula

When this little plant comes into flower it’s time to get out the shorts and sandals. There’s lots of it on both rockeries, but it seems to do better on the one where there’s shade after midday. The other thing worth noting is that slugs and snails adore it. You’d find a large gathering most nights.


Links

Finally, I’m returning a favour for my gardening friend Rosie. She’s been so kind as to add a link to her blog featuring my article from last week. Here’s her article from last Saturday, plus a few others too.

  • While Rosie has the swarm box at the ready, she needs help identifying the unidentified.
  • Fred is in France, where temperatures are high and rainfall is needed. Check out the Amaryllis.
  • It’s Autumn in Wellington, New Zealand, and Barbara presents Three Kings Vine. It’s a stunner!
  • It’s a good idea… I’ll add a few other Six-on-Saturday gardeners next week.

That’s it for this week, a cháirde. Until next week, I hope that all will be well in your world. Slán go fóill. На все добре! (na vse dobre).

What’s this Six-on-Saturday all about? We are a group of gardeners who write. We write about six items in our gardens, and we do it on Saturdays. Many more choose to publish on Twitter and Instagram using the #sixonsaturday hashtag. You can find out more about it here.

Pádraig.

Author: Páraig

Changing my mind, one thought at a time. When head is good so is everything, including some fast biking and slow gardening.

16 thoughts on “Six-on-Saturday – No Man Went To Mow”

  1. On matters ecological you will always come in for a battering no matter what you do. One, though I wouldn’t, might comment that the paving in your garden prevents rain soakage and contributes to local flooding. Thank goodness you are so close to the strand in Abbeyside! We are split in this garden re feverfew – I love it and Mary doesn’t.

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  2. Oh do be careful of your toes Pádraig. I don’t get hot water near mine, but when the flip-flops come out I tend to stub my toe on things! It’s my pleasure to help share the gardening posts of the SOSers, it’s a great way to get more coverage for this weekly meme.

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  3. Like Fred, I had heard about the vinegar weed killer, I think it has to be a sunny day though. Love the lettuce flower, are you going to collect the seed and make more lettuces, or is that lettuci? Have a good week, hope the sun continues to shine on you and the rain falls at night.

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    1. I’m not a good seed collector, but I’ll let the seed scatter there it wills.
      Gorgeous earth here now so it’s feet up time.

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    1. Very welcome, a chara. Fingers crossed for the clematis. Being such a vigorous one, I’m hoping that it being in a pot will be OK.

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  4. Perhaps single men wore them on Sundays or community events to show they were looking for a wife? It is said to have links to Venus and to cure women’s complaints – though possibly one of the cures for that would be to keep away from batchelors in the first place!!

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  5. I can not see why feverfew is called Batchelor buttons either! The Geum is lovely, and I’ve decided to find out whether they will grow in this climate. I have remembered to put my annuals for colour in ceramic pots scattered around the garden. The plants will do much better in the pots than in the ground. The clematis is looking beautiful on the trellis. I had no luck with my montana this year. I live in hope that it will thrive.

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