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Grass Clippings Editor speaks to the BBC

Grassclippings - Editor talks to BBCThousands are thronging to the Chelsea Flower Show, but for many people all their garden dreams are summed up in the form of a small, manicured, neat-edged patch of grass.

They are adherents to the cult of the lawn.  For some, satisfaction is a perfect stripe.

Others find happiness in the smell of cut grass, or the pleasant springy feeling that comes from walking on perfect, 3cm-deep turf.  "A striped lawn reminds us of lovely things like cricket and bowls," says Mike Seaton, editor of the lawn advice website Grass Clippings.

"I grew up with a large back garden and I was weaned into lawn mowing from a very early age. It was the first useful job I could do for my parents and I took a real pride in it."  "There is a huge passion for lawns and everyone loves a stripe." 

The perfect lawn, according to Seaton, should be mowed once a week from March to October, fertilised every three months, and should have grass between 2.5cm and 4.5cm in height.  To achieve a true green, lawns like to be watered, but they can survive without - albeit inelegantly.

"Grass is tougher than it looks, which is good considering we're in the middle of the wettest drought ever," he adds.  "If your grass looks dried and brown, it's more than likely that the base will still be OK."

But the cult of the lawn is about green. Lush, green grass is a display of health and success - it is competition between neighbours and gives a delicious sense of satisfaction.

It was the aristocrats of 17th and 18th century Europe who started the cult. Louis XIV of France included large squares of tapis vert, or green carpet, in his Versailles gardens. This became a sign of prosperity and style and soon crossed the Atlantic - reportedly 30 million acres of the US is now neatly carpeted in lawn.

Mike Seaton is Managing Director of The Lawn Company

Read more by Lucy Townsend on the BBC Web Site

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