Anglo-American gardening tips

When my children were young, I was too busy to tell them bedside stories. Most of the time. Often, at the time I came back home, they were already asleep. Nowadays, I have plenty of time and an abundance of stories to tell. But they have even less time than I had at their current age. I do not see them often and when one of them is around, we have to get a move on. Sometimes, a few minutes after starting with one of my captivating stories, one of them raises a hand and says: ‘stop Pa, information overload.’

So I ponder and I blog.

There was this old gardener during a stay in England, when I was sixteen years old. During a weekend, I was watching a game of bowls. A weird game (so I thought at the time). It was being played by elderly people on a manicured lawn which looked like the surface of a brand new billiard table.

It would seem to the uninformed that such a lawn is as flat as the surface of standing water. No sir. My English teacher Nellie Schokking aka Miss Shocking had already explained to us fourteen year olds that such a surface is rolled into some kind of cone, being about an inch higher at the centre than at the edges. If you did not know that, you wouldn’t notice. Neither if you knew.

Next to me stood an American. That was very visible, because in the fifties American tourists always wore Hawaiian shirts hanging outside their trousers and always wore big cameras on their chests. A very nice guy. He said to the old greenkeeper: ‘Great!  I am going to have a lawn just like that,  next to my house. Do you have any tips?

The man sucked at his pipe for a while, and then said:

‘You mow’em and you roll’em’.

‘Is that all?” said the American.

‘Yes’, said the greenkeeper, ‘and you keep on doing that for the next 400 years.’

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