……bare foot scything that is.
We have known for a while that TV and Radio gardener Bunny Guinness is a fan of the Austrian scythe. On Radio 4’s Gardeners Question Time last week, she was enthusing about the scythe as an answer to mowing a steep bank. Better then a stimmer she says, and we agree!
In case you missed it, a podcast of the programme can be found here The question comes right at the end, starting at 35.50 mins.
Phil and I often mow bare foot. Contrary to what Bob Flowerdew jokes on the programme, your legs and feet are in no danger from your own blade when you are mowing. It is moving in a safe arc in front of you with the blade facing the grass, not your legs. A little more care has to be taken when mowing with other people, but a few sensible precautions such as ensuring you keep a reasonable distance from the person mowing ahead of you keeps everyone safe.
We really enjoy the feeling of contact with the cool damp earth revealed as the grass is mown, especially refreshing during a hot mowing session. Mowing bare foot helps you to feel grounded and relaxed and enables you to feel your feet flexing and moving in response to the mowing motion much more effectively then when encased in stiff boots.
We do of course have to resort to footwear sometimes. Bramble bashing requires sturdier footwear, and fields that have bracken in are less comfy – cut bracken stalks can cause painful injuries to bare feet. Generally though, barefoot mowing is a great pleasure.