Grass and mowing

The Grosne Valley here in the Clunysois has been the first to call for water saving for a good few years.
We are between the wine growing areas of The Beaujolais and the Cote D’Or.
There has been a huge battle between the beef farmers and the vignerons, who use cannon to stop hail from destroying their vines and, therefore, no rain for a good few years now. Of course, it does not only affect the farmers grazing but everyone else and water restrictions, especially refilling of pools affects tourism.
This year there is the start of a trial and the vignerons have been prohibited from using their cannons.
We are hoping for more rain this summer.

I dusted down the old ride-on yesterday. It was the first year in ages that all four tyres, plus the battery, weren’t flat. Momentous. I mowed down the weeds, managing to miss quite a lot of the lizard orchids that are sprouting everywhere. I quite enjoy it actually…

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2,4d and you better keep your dogs for 2 weeks away from areas sprayed with it! Otherwise bad consequences will be the case! Neighbors lost dogs after using 2,4d!

I love lizard orchids! You are so lucky…


Really??? We have masses and I can tell you the smell of male goat from them is pretty gross. Among the many lizard orchids we have a few bee orchids - now those ARE worth having.

We have masses of orchids in the hedgerows come April? However, they all look the same to me and I have no idea, even with wildflower book in hand, how to tell them apart. Any hints as to where I could find reliable guidance would be very gratefully received :smiley:

Try taking close-up photos of the flowers and uploading the photos and doing a search in google image - that can be a starting point. Orchids are some of the most photographed of flowers so yours are certain to be on the internet. Also, post them here. There are some very knowledgeable people on SF.

Use something like Google lens or plantsnap both of which have been excellent at finding obscure plants/plant disease which I did not know about.

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Case in point I did not know what was infecting my roses so used Google lens and found out about Robin’s Pincushion, I had heard about it but never seen it before.

Get a can /2cans of tyre sealant. This completely eliminated punctures in my ride-on. Before I put it in I had 3 or 4 punctures per season.

We have grown to admire the tall ones and we don’t get too close! We only have one bee orchid but several purple ones.

Having finally found both of those orchids on line, I can fairly confidently say that I’ve never seen either of them. The ones we get up here are very much less striking…

In the Uk there are only a very few areas where there are patches of lizard orchids left as they have all been dug up and stolen. Prized things.

I’ve counted 24 different orchids locally, but lizards are my favourite despite the smell…

Have you got a Delachaux et Niestlé? Good plant etc books.

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You might try

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I have a French version of the Fitter & Blamey wildflower book but hadn’t realised it was part of a wider series - have now looked and see that there are others that appear very useful. Thank you @vero = I do like books!

Thank you for the tela botanica reference @MaryW - like the look of it and shall have a bit of a play!


We’ve just moved in to our house in the Charente half an hour north east of Angoulême The move went pretty well, the house is better than expected apart from a leaky toilet. The biggest disappointment was the grass. We had offered to pay to have it cut on a regular basis before we arrived but our offer was ignored. The owner gave it a quick lick on the day we arrived and the result looks like a hayfield. I would be happy to pay to have it cut properly but no one seems interested So I need to buy a motor mower pretty quickly. The lawn is about half an acre and completely flat. I tried cutting it with our old electric mower but the ground is full of molehills hence a very uneven surface. We’d be very grateful for any suggestions as to which motor to buy. We don’t need a ride on as I need the exercise. We’d be willing to pay between 200 and 800 euros

You might change your mind about that! Depending where you are, you will find that grass grows non-stop through autumn / winter/spring. If you’re lucky, it might slow down through summer. OH is mowing twice a week at the moment. I’m not surprised the previous owner didn’t do it.
Couple of thoughts - if you’re serious about the exercise how about a battery driven mower? We have a pretty heavy duty Stihl that would certainly be fine on flat land - use it on the highest cut for a while and the mole hills will flatten.

Alternatively, why not a robot? Where’s the fun in marching up and down a flat lawn twice a week? :slight_smile:
By the way, we’ve got 3 hand mowers and two sit-on - we’ve never found a single mower that’s suitable for all conditions.

Ha ha… that sounds similar to our situation in UK… which is why we chose a place without a huge park.

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I have a 21" + a 16" self-propelled petrol mowers and a ride on mower but I have 2 1/2 acres of grass and pasture to cut, the 21" is like a mechanical goat, it will quite literally cut anything and has been a god send.