When planning to change our garden a few years from a bumpy bit of vegetable garden/field confusion into something more 'designed' with flowers instead of rampant rhubarb we considered 'lawn' and promptly crossed it off our list.
Grass was something we had 22 acres of. We certainly didn't need more to mow or strim and we certainly didn't need anything as fussy as a lawn, we thought. There would be no Sunday morning lawn mower drone, no piles of composting clippings. Our 'formal' garden was small and not suited for lawn. We thought.
So the swing and the slide were placed over deep bark chippings, nice and soft (the theory went) for children to play on and fall on without breaking bones. The garden was terraced from slope into three layers, top for patio, bottom for bark, middle for flowers.
Then we lived with it for a while.
"What about a little lawn, on the middle layer," I suggested tentatively. Just a small patch, a mere handkerchief. I could mow it with a push along mower. That was last year. Lawns, even from seed, are fast. The lawn was green and lush almost as soon as I'd finished suggesting it as an idea.
Teddies appeared, as if by magic, waiting for a picnic.
We liked sitting on the lawn too for afternoon tea, with teapot, cups and saucers. Cucumber sandwiches on white bread without crusts. Sitting on a tartan picnic blanket. Pimms too in jugs. Those activities must be on a lawn.
The dog too loves the lawn. He likes to lie on the fresh green grass and drag himself along by his paws talking like a pirate ("arr, arr, arff, grrr arrr, grr") in a canine ecstasy of cool green grassy enjoyment.
Then we obtained three new farm cats. Black rat-catching thuggish cats. They made a bee-line for the bark which had turned itself into what looked to us like a nice dark mulch. To the cats it was perfect kitty litter. Cat poo is not a pleasant thing to land in when sliding down a slide. It stank too. We barrowed it away and searched the internet for a replacement. NEVER USE PLAYBARK yelled Netmums. Repeatedly. Other alternatives included shredded car tyres. CARCINOGENIC screeched another site. Use grass, was the murmur. Much nicer.
So we've lawned the bottom part now too. It is green and lush and waiting for teddy bears.
And it needs mowing...