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Trainee Blogpost: the Art of Mowing Straight Lines

Trainee Toby Warren blogs about his month on the Landscape & Machinery section alongside Section Supervisor Adrian Holmes and assistant Alistair Cochrane
Toby mowingToby mowing
June 2017

It seems like such a short time ago that I began my year long traineeship here at the Botanic Garden, and now June has rolled around and I find myself back with the landscape and machinery section for the second and final time.

The weather seems to have finally given summer a go, and the last week has been balmy. However, this doesn’t seem to have slowed the growth of the lawns here at the Garden, and so keeping on top of mowing is the priority at the moment. This has given me plenty of chance to practice my mowing patterns, and try to keep my lines straight. It’s not as easy as I’d first thought, especially when there is a tree in the way (as when mowing the Calocedrus lawn near the fountain).

I’ve also been able to gain some confidence using a cylinder mower – not something that I had used before coming to the Garden. At first glance the cylinder mower is a confusing contraption with numerous levers, but after starting to use it I quickly grew used to mowing with it and started to enjoy the process of making sharp lines on the formal lawns.

The other job that we’ve been tackling has been to repair the pathway behind the Systematic Beds that had been damaged by heavy traffic during the Lake dredge earlier in the year. This involved transporting several trailer loads of limestone gravel to the pathway, raking it to a camber (something that was helped by an ingenious but simple curved piece of wood), compacting the path with a roller that we hired in and finally laying a top dress of gravel. Phew, this was hot work! Although I’ve been able to sum up the process in one sentence, the work was spread out over several weeks. The path looks so much better for it, and will hopefully stay in a much more functional condition.

Toby Warren - Landscape and Machinery
Horticultural Trainee

Publication Date
10/07/2017