From a garden that was virtually nothing but grass and perimeter trees when it first became ours there is now almost no grass at all apart from the strip by the side of the stream and the little square of grass in front of the sitooterie that is my Tai Chi lawn. This theoretically means that maintaining the grass should be an easy task, involving little more than getting an old hand mower out and cutting the square when it needs it and occasionally giving it something to eat or drink. It may even be attacked with a fork in the autumn, but I have never before applied any top dressing and this year decided that a bit of extra nurturing wouldn’t go amiss. After pricking it thoroughly to a good fork depth I raked on a mix of sharp sand, topsoil and compost and brushed it in as best I could; an overnight shower washed more of the topdressing into the holes, so it is looking a little happier today than when the job was first completed and hopefully will thank me for it by producing a healthier lawn next year. I shan’t be doing Tai Chi on it for the foreseeable future though!