Does My Lawn Look Big In This?

I recently read a very interesting article in the Daily Mail online (yes I know) about stripes and part of it suggested the traditional view that vertical stripes make you look thinner is a load of Trump and that actually horizontal stripes are the way to go. Then it changed its mind. Define ‘very interesting’ I hear you mutter, but come on, there can be no doubt that as the both the fashion season and the growing season approach, the weather warms up (soon please) and the rain starts the grass growing properly, a person’s mind can very easily turn to the question of stripes.

Of course, the fact that the article was actually published in 2012 doesn’t exactly prove that I have my finger on the pulse of fashion. Also, as it happens, there is very little conclusion gained other than, when it comes to dressing to change you shape ‘maybe stripes should be avoided altogether’.  But I do know that once my curmudgeonly friend and gardener Brody turns up to carry out the first serious lawn maintenance of the season the question of stripes will crop up.

Vertical stripes. Very chic!

We all know that whether the stripes run up and down or across the lawn, they are not about to make the lawn look fat, but Brody has some interesting thoughts on the subject. He says that, to him, stripes should run away from the house, as it gives the impression of a longer, sweeping lawn and a more grand estate than my little town house is actually deserving of.

This aligns interestingly, (again this depends on your definition of interesting) with some of the studies mentioned in the fashion article I read. It said subjects when questioned frequently say that vertical stripes make someone look taller and, when you are in your own house, and the stripes run away from the house, you are in effect looking at virtual, vertical stripes.

I have also read other experts who suggest that stripes can direct your eyes away from any less attractive parts of the garden, as our eyes instinctively tend to follow the direction of lines. Subsequently,  any lines on my lawn should lead away from the big stain on my decking where my friend B dropped a large glass of Malbec in shock during one of my summer soirees, when someone rather cruelly pointed out that the shoes she was wearing were actually from last season. the air that evening turned chilly very soon I can tell you.

Personally it’s a slightly OCD thing with me. I just feel that stripes going across the seem a bit odd and I do slightly agree that stripes running from the house down to the end of the garden look a bit more classy and elegant.

When it comes down to it, I don’t really have much of an opinion on it. And that is the problem. Every year we do this little dance with Brody suggesting stripes and me making a monumental effort to actually care about it at all. It usually culminates in a stand-off with him saying ‘so do you want them or not’ and me saying, I have such a small lawn, does it matter, what I really want is a glass of prosecco and a plate of scallops followed swiftly by him getting sulky and stamping off to fix my climbing rose trellis.

However, I have decided that this year, pointless or not, I am going to pretend I care and just say yes to stripes. This will please Brody immensely and fulfill my new year’s resolution to be kinder to people, go along with others unless I really object, and not wind them up for sport. it is also for this reason that when he askes about stripes I am not going to say ‘could you do me a black watch tartan?’. Although I have seen similar patterns done.

All of this musing is, fundamentally, why I am even thinking or writing about stripes at the end of January. I am attempting to get into the spirit of the whole thing early.

Hayter Harrier 41 petrol autodrive lawnmower
Roll with it. British made: Hayter Spirit 41 petrol autodrive lawnmower

I have now learned that lawn stripes are all about light bouncing off grass blades and the direction of the blades determines the look.  The blades bent towards you look dark and the ones directed away away from you look light. How this works when you are looking at stripes running right to left in front of you I don’t really know.

My in depth research (mainly buying Drew and Dick a pint of something and then asking them questions ) tells me you do need certain equipment to achieve stripes.

A good quality rotary mower with a roller is a good start, and you would really have to travel a long distance on good walking shoes to get better than one of the models from stripy lawn supremos Hayter. These are always popular

Al-ko garden roller
Flatten it out: Hand propelled Al-Ko garden roller

and much loved by the British lawn enthusiast, and at excellent prices on the mowDirect site.

You can also achieve the old stripy effect by buying a good roller, towed or hand propelled. With a towed roller, obviously, you cut the lawn with your ride-on and the roller towed behind does the striping, but with a hand-roller you cut the lawn as normal, and then roll it afterwards. This can be hard work  (or so I’m told) but must be very satisfying when you have finished.

So that’s it. All being well the rain wiill fall, the sun will return from it’s long and, as far as i am concerned, undeserved long holiday and we shall have green and lush grass a plenty once again. If you are big lawn person, check out Dick’s blog on mowers for the coming spring, with some great mower deals, or this one where he expounds the virtues of our fabulous Morrison Oxford Rear Roller Mower. Or just take a look at our complete range of excellent mowers. Here’s to a good season. See ya. Holly.


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