New robotic help is on hand for those who like a lawn that looks after itself. Promotional feature with Stihl iMow
We may look forward to the warm lushness of a proper English spring, but the horticultural workload is never welcomed as effusively. From clearing winter debris, trimming hedges, tackling weeds in the herbaceous border to the weekly requirement to mow the lawn, for the non green-fingered they are as aggravating as a surreptitious stone in the open-toed sandal of spring.
What to do with a proper sort of garden?
Few Field readers have a garden that fits into the bracket titled ‘easy maintenance’. Gardens tend to be filled with obligatory features (mowing hazards) from the swing chair on the flagstones to the croquet lawn, to at least a couple of lazing hounds and flourishing herbaceous borders. Very rarely flat, there are slopes, angles, curves and corners. There are few simple rectangles.
One might imagine the only way to negotiate these lawns is with an old-fashioned push along mower, but robotic assistance is available, that will not only mow the lawn for you daily, creating a lush green carpet in its wake, but will be able to tackle a garden brimming with Field features. The iMow, part of the STIHL family, is a robotic mower that will cut the grass for you every day, every other day or whenever you decide to programme it. It is also a mulching mower, so there is no need for trips to the compost heap with brimming grass containers, and the goodness from the cut grass goes straight back into the lawn. This means, rather marvelously, that the garden looks after itself. And after the initial installation there is little need to think about it again. Although one might find oneself wandering out to check on the little mower now and again, rather like a beloved pet, so much is the affection that these little mowers can engender in the reluctant gardener.
There is no ‘hands on’ set up required. When you decide to relinquish the hard work to the iMow a team of specialists will come and install a thin hidden perimeter wire around the garden, and garden features. Once done there is little left to do, but sit back as the iMow tackles the garden.
The croquet lawn
We all know that a ball can’t run true on a croquet lawn where the grass is lush rather than shorn. And while it might make for a livelier game, as balls dally rather than dash over the ground, a beautifully cropped croquet lawn is a delight to play on. The iMow will run over the croquet lawn as many times a week as you see fit, so it will always be ready to play on.
From the shady nook at the far end of the garden, to the bit at the back of the kitchen, to the awkward area behind the climbing roses, the iMow can be programmed to tackle the whole area of a garden. When it senses it is running out of charge it motors back to its charging station, recharges, and heads out again. The iMow can tackle spaces up to 4000 square metres.
In a garden littered with dogs, or even perhaps an ancient tortoise, the iMow senses these obstacles and will move around them. And if, by any mischance, the iMow is lifted during operation the safety mechanism immediately stops the blades.
On installation the team can programme the iMow to adapt to the shape of any borders or planted areas, flagstoned areas or permanent garden furniture. The same is true for other permanent garden features, such as sundials, outdoor sculptures or summer houses.
Some robotic mowers (and we have seen them) have a tendency to fail on the smallest incline. Not much use in a proper country garden. But the iMow can tackle gradients of up to 45%, which makes it rugged enough for a realistic garden.
The iMow is the answer
For those keen to reclaim the garden for fun, rather than forced labour, a modern robotic mower is a practical option. Robust, professionally installed and unobtrusive it makes garden parties simple, stops frenetic last minute mowing before guests arrive, improves the lawn and leave you free, to fish, pop a few pigeon or simply sip a Pimm’s.
More information can be found by visiting iMow