Wells Voice Article July 2022

A Pundit : an East Indian scholar skilled in Sanskrit, one more stocked with booklore than with erudition. (Brewer)


Over in Northern Ireland, where they do things differently, my brother was once going around the local golf course when at the bottom of the fairway he met a chap trudging up and down through the long grass of the rough. This was a proper rough as they have across the borders. "Hello, lost your ball?"    "Yes, but don't tell anybody, I've lost my club as well!"

Garden writers, broadcasters, folk we might even call pundits, have been urging us all to take a more relaxed approach to our gardens, to leave the mower in the shed, to let the grass grow, thereby encouraging the wildlife which is ever-ready waiting in the wings to take over. They named this notion 'No mow May'. Plus, June of course and then July. One chap suggested that, if we kept our eyes open, we could have ox-eye daisies springing up in abundance. And, if we were lucky, he said, we may have orchids appearing, purple, pyramidal, and even bee orchids. Now, there was no mention about the author's qualification in Sanskrit, but giving us the impression that a wildflower meadow will spring up overnight without the least bit of preparation struck me as a tad optimistic. Nor did the article mention the audience this fellow had in mind. Monty Don, on the other hand, sloshed a handful of cold water on the idea by a cautious timetable; in order to achieve this perfection, it would require several years of, let's face it, toil. There are hazards as we have seen, things not being simple.

So, long grass remains long grass. Or does it? There is much more to grass than lawn clippings. As soon as it matures, ordinary grass becomes extraordinary and in greater variety than we thought. Cock's Foot, Meadow grass, Yorkshire Fog, Timothy and many more, all different and adding charm and character to what was a humdrum flat piece of green especially if you have made pathways through it with that old mower and we shouldn't want our gardens to resemble American golf courses. Let us leave perfection in the hands of the professionals and garden our gardens in the way we want them to be whether the grass be short or long, neat or untidy. In this garden wildness abounds. In fact, in certain corners the wild becomes positively savage. Well, if you like that sort of thing, that's the sort of thing you like. Keep gardening and never mind the pundits. If you are in want of a few ideas, go visiting. The Wells Gardening Club is going by coach to Stogumber Open Gardens on 10th July. 'Phone 673244 0r see website for details.