28 April 2012

Village Green Preservation Society

A man from the council with a strimmer, legs coated in grass clippings: is this a welcome sight? Not when you've been on your knees, happily photographing the flowers that thrive in longish lawns. 'Bye bye wild flowers on the green!' tweeted my friend Theodora* in Uppingham, with the above photo. Her neighbours were probably thinking: 'Thank goodness they've taken care of those dreadful dandelions and the grass can be restored to its usual quarter of an inch.'

Anyone who enjoyed watching Sarah Raven** doing battle with the residents of Creaton, Northamptonshire (a tough crowd) will appreciate that most people prefer neat and tidy above anything else. The look on their faces as she exhorted them to turn the village green into a wild flower meadow was... thought-provoking. And yet the minority of Guardian-reading yoghurt-eaters really like wild flowers and are wary of using the word 'weed'. Which is why I've written an informative and well-balanced piece on dandelions in the Guardian and Observer Organic Allotment Blog.

NB: Blowing the clocks, though tempting, is bad for both camps. Didn't you know you could be depriving a small bird of its lunch? (See comments in the Observer blog, below the ads).

*The calligrapher behind our bespoke copperplate lettering, see right
**Sarah Raven's Bees, Butterflies and Blooms on television a couple of months ago.

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