The UK is the gold standard across the world when it comes to lawns. What is golf, other than a great sport performed on the finest lawns in the world – and golf originated in Scotland. The grand tradition of gardening is maintained today in hundreds of incredible, picture-perfect lawns. From manors to cottages, the English lawn is iconic and ever popular. Even environmentalists, who have frowned upon lawns in the past because of the water consumption, are coming around to realize that lawns give back far more than they take. Grass roots often extend deep into the soil, breaking it up and keeping it from packing down. The thick turf shades the ground beneath, not only preserving moisture in the grass and soil, but creating a mini-ecosystem for all kinds of natural inhabitants. Lawns cool the atmosphere significantly, creating “green spots” that can be measured through infrared photography from the air. Skyscrapers, apartment complexes, shopping malls, and other urban structures are actually building their roofs so that they can support lawns to help them reduce their carbon footprint. Lawns also absorb off-gasses from nearby construction, converting it to oxygen and purifying the air. In fact, there are over 15 million lawns in England. With some of these benefits in mind, let’s take a tour of some of the most well kept lawns in the South West of England.
A combination of two English icons – the lawn and the maze – can be found in the turf labyrinths of England. They were once much more common than they are today, but these artistic additions to the garden are still beautiful sites. The one in Winchester, Hampshire is one of the larger ones at 27.4 by 26.2 m. This maze may date back to the 1600s. cut into a hill, traveling the maze also will take you uphill on a fairly strenuous climb. The lawn of the maze is beautifully maintained, although you may encounter a sheep or two.
The Tewkesbury Abbey is a striking relic dating back to 1102. The lawns surrounding the Abbey and all across the rest of the grounds are have really had some great lawn maintanence, in some cases stretching all the way to the river.
Beautiful lawns are not the domain of only ancient properties and public lands. The Davies family has one of the most strikingly beautiful lawns in the South West of England. This 1.3 acre spot of Heaven was once a tangled mass of strawberries, weeds, and discarded farm equipment.
At the Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, you’ll find a huge lawn that was established in the 1760s. This type of lawn actually has a name. It’s called a Salisbury Lawn, because it appears to be as large as the Salisbury Plain.
In many cases, lawns are kept private by the use of hedgerows. This privacy is valued in England, and creates a series of pleasant surprises as you wander the grounds of your destination.