The Nom-Nom lawn

We’re starting with a pretty picture of a rose because links in Facebook insist on featuring the first picture shown in a blog post. Last week it was an ugly fly-swat and I feel the need to up my aesthetic game. As you probably know, social media doesn’t reward reality unless it is either visually attractive, or downright shocking.

Charles Rennie MacIntosh rose

The beautifully fragrant R. ‘Charles Rennie MacIntosh’, kindly bought for my English Garden by Deborah

Ok, on to the actual reason for this update.

When I first posted about the English Garden last spring, I finished with this un-Facebook-worthy-but-honest shot of the pretty bits surrounded by a veritable wilderness of long grass (you can see why I stooped to the gratuitous use of that photogenic rose).

Weeds around English Garden

Weeds around English Garden

On our arrival at the farmlet the grass around the English Garden became part of an unfenced paddock. Whenever the ponies grazed there electric fencing had to be put up, and then moved with them to the next location. It was a lot of work and the grass would grow to  jungle-like proportions between grazing rotations. Still, I called the area my Nominal Lawn. Because every English Garden needs a lawn, even if it exists in name only.

All hail to the fencing crew though, because after Phil the Fencer and his lads completed a second round of fencing late last year (the round I call our fencing extravaganza, for reasons outlined previously) the English Garden gained an actual lawn.

What used to look like this:

Horse and electric fencing

Previous solar-charged electric fence. The same fence the horses once escaped through at 2am. Note Summer’s yoga pose* as she reaches under the tape for a mouthful of extra yummy grass

Now looks like this! You may just be able to make out that the tree behind Summer’s backside in the first photo is the same one that’s in line with the gatepost below.

Fence and horse

New post and rail fence. No more escapes and an ACTUAL lawn!

After it became real, rather than nominal, we started calling the new lawn the Nom-Nom Lawn. It seems co-incidentally extra appropriate because there is usually at least one old bone lying around on the grass ready to be nommed by one or other of the dogs.

The long grass I showed you at the top of the page has gradually been tamed. And because the kunekune pigs, contrary to their advertised qualities as grass-eaters and not diggers, actually dig like billy-o, we are mowing. Yup, it was a fine plan to go mower-free, but in lesson number 4021 of my farming education I’ve learned that petrol mowers are more easily controlled than animal mowers. And anyway Favorite Stepson is open to bribes.

Garden with roses

Grass near the English Garden looking marginally closer to something Vita would recognise as lawn.

So now I have an English Garden with a Nom-Nom Lawn and a fence for the ponies to hang their necks over. All is right with the world. Rule Britannia, and pass the cucumber sandwiches.

* She’s doing a pretty good impression of Trikonasana, the Triangle Pose. It’s obviously a bit harder with four legs.



  1. Oh aim high – Sissinghurst arrived in Northland! Well done – no stopping you and your gang. 😉

  2. Hi….I have just stumbled across your blog while looking for tips on companion planting in citrus groves….thank you for posting a blog on that…. and I’m still here almost an hour later looking at your other posts – we too have moved to the country but on a much smaller plot but still has its challenges so its great to see how your adventures are going! This is prob a random question but as I was reading through this post I spied your wood slat/banana shaped chairs (not sure of their actually name sorry!) on your deck beside your English garden… I have been trying to find some of these chairs for many years with no luck….are you able to share where you got your lovely ones from? Thank you so much! ☺️

    • Hi Sacha, how lovely to meet you. Thank you for commenting, it’s so exciting to hear about other people having rural adventures. Sure is a steep learning curve!
      The Kentucky stick chairs came from a chap in Whangarei who hand makes them and sells on Trade Me. Here is a current listing for them:
      Hope you can manage to get hold of some. 😀

      • Oh my goodness thank you ChrissyB!!! That is very exciting!!! They are being added to the top of my Christmas list….so wonderful! Are you happy with the craftmanship etc?

        • You are most welcome.
          I am happy with the craftsmanship. They are solidly built of good quality hardwood, and have been outside here for two years with no signs of deterioration. They do have a rustic vibe, and if you were to be really fussy you might want to do a tad more sanding of the timber. It’s not perfectly smooth, but then that’s in keeping with the style. They are stained quite a reddish-brown, and at some stage I will re-stain them to be a bit more of a natural grey-brown, but that’s just personal preference.
          Some people might be bothered by the fact that they are a little like deck chairs to sit down in. Fine once you are seated, but if you put your weight too close to the front of the seat as you get in or out they can tip forward. Again I think that’s just the style, and as with deck chairs you soon adapt. Overall I’m very happy with them, they are a good compact size for our narrowish deck (I loved his Andirondack chairs, but they would have blocked access) and look great; they are comfy to sit in, and, I think, excellent value for the price. Let me know how you go with your Christmas list!

  3. Thank you they sound how I would expect them to be so that is perfect! Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to me. All the best with your farm!

    • No problem at all. Hope they turn out to be the perfect seats from which to survey your own land! Are you in Northland too?

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