Lockdown – it’s more like a shutdown and as for Monty…


I had just two items on my gardening shopping list – seaweed fertiliser and a waterproof marker pen for plant labels.  Nothing outrageous or difficult.  Could I get either?  No.   In the end I had to drive 24 miles to my nearest garden centre who had both – and a lot more besides.

When I asked at our local major high street store why they were not in stock, that same old excuse was trotted out.  Apparently, Covid has attacked all waterproof market pen and seaweed fertiliser manufacturers – I think not.

Turf Wars

Mowing the lawn

Then, to make me feel even more miserable, I sat down to read my Times newspaper only to find Monty Don telling me to stop mowing my lawn and let it go wild for the benefit of the planet and wildlife.   He says that mowing grass is “about the most injurious thing you can do to wildlife.”


Alternative Facts

I’d love to know the factual evidence on which he bases that claim.  He had a go at petrol lawnmowers which are still the major fuel source in the UK but Mr Don missed out a few alternative vital facts.  Firstly, mowing the lawn provides vital exercise for everyone and is claimed to be good for physical and mental wellbeing.  Secondly, there is a massively increasing market for battery powered lawnmowers, strimmers, hedge cutters and blowers and I’m told that it won’t be long before they overtake petrol and mains-electric as the major power source.  The modern batteries are now so good they power big garden tractors.   Thirdly, we all like advice but not instruction on matters as personal as how we cut our lawns.

Wildlife Haven

I mow mine with a petrol powered tractor mower and the garden is full of wildlife,  Why?  Because we create areas specifically for the birds, mammals and insects.  At the last count Mrs GG and I have identified more than 60 different species of birds in addition to foxes, badgers, moles, stoats, hedgehogs, bats and all sorts of little brown things that all seem to delight in my mown and striped lawn.

Wildlife on the lawn

Monty’s television gardening programmes are always enjoyable viewing but do please stick to the facts.

Compost Contents 

Hands full of compostMy final groan today is what you can find in bags of compost other than what it says on the packet.  I’m thinking of creating a museum of unwanted items from compost.  In the last few bags I’ve found partially charred sections of wood, plastic plant labels, silver paper, bottle caps and lengths of string.

I appreciate that this is indicates the source of the raw material, but the manufacturers charge enough money for a bag, so check the content.

Happy Gardening

The Grumpy Gardener