After being criticised over her artificial lawn, Jan Brooker a keen gardener, said that she won’t enter any gardening competitions again. Jan, who is a retired admin worker, had won 1st prize in the First Time Entry category at the Brentwood in Bloom competition. However, letters in the local newspaper, which quite often are anonymous, had forced her into reconsidering entering again. The complaints revolved the use of artificial grass around her 6X10 garden workshop in her garden, which may not be to everybody’s liking, but if they are not banned from being used then where is the problem?
She said that she could not believe how horrible people could be and that she had no intention of deceiving anybody. As it was the judges would have been able to see quite clearly that the lawn was artificial so clearly they were looking at the aspect of the garden and felt the lawn had added to the garden appearance.
Mrs Brooker, who shares her home with her blind husband, got the inspiration to use the lawn after seeing it at the Hampton Court Garden Show where it was displayed as well as all sorts of garden products from garden sheds, summerhouses and huts in sizes from 10X6 and upwards right through to small garden tools.
She won £80 for coming first in the First Time Entry class and the other winners at the Brentwood in Bloom competition were St George’s Church for best maintained Religious Grounds and Ingrave Johnson Primary School for Best School Project.
My view about artificial grass is why not? There are many items which make up a garden which are not natural products such as paving slabs, fountains and even garden sheds. All these come together to make the overall experience of a natural garden. As is it gardens have evolved over the years and are vastly different to gardens of 50 or 100 years ago. Also the people doing the complaining – were they entrants or people who feel they have to complain about everything – perhaps they should get a life!
Whilst we are sitting in doors during the winter nights we can contemplate what we should have been doing with our garden before the cold weather had set in. At the moment the weather has been unseasonably mild and our gardens have plants trying to break through thinking it is spring. In your garden shed, with one of the most popular sizes being 10X6, all your tools are put away, however it is still possible to be using them at the moment. There were various different things you could have done to your garden before the onset of winter and this included the planting of miscanthus grasses. These will brighten up the garden as they thrive well into the winter months and it might still be possible to plant these in some sheltered spots, possibly against the garden fence or along the front of the garden shed given a break in the normal brown colour of the shed.
Adrian Bloom at Bressingham Gardens in Norfolk provided this advice to gardeners around Britain. He said that this species of East Asia grasses are well worth considering as they are tough, very hardy and low maintenance which means more time can be spent in your shed away from ‘she who must be obeyed’. Bressingham Gardens has over 17 acres with the largest collection of miscanthus grasses in the country. In fact they offer over 70 different varieties.
He claims that very few people realise how many types of grasses there are and people are totally astounded. With specimens from 2 ft right up to 10ft you can be sure to find some of these grasses to suit your garden. These grasses can be grown in pots, which is my wife’s favourite way of gardening, or in beds in the garden. There are an amazing array of colours when they flower which includes pink and gold among many others.
There is a little maintenance in the spring where it is advised that the grasses are cut back and it’s recommended to mulch around the plants so moisture is retained. With these grasses your lawn mower can stay safe in your shed and away from the garden.
Bressingham Gardens have the unique honour of having simultaneously a father and son holding the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Victoria Medal of Honour. This award is presented to horticulturists who reside in the UK and which the RHS considers to be deserving of special award. It was established in remembrance of Queen Victoria and the rules states there can only be 63 awardees at any one time – one for each year of her reign.
Bressingham Gardens is well worth visiting not just for the delights of the garden centre but also for the steam museum where you can see various steam trains in their sheds. These 10x6sheds were purposely built for these beautiful creations. Also Dad’s Army enthusiasts will be delighted with their own museum area. Quite appropriate as it was filmed quite nearby in Thetford forest.