Imagine a zebra without its stripes. It’s a sad sight isn’t it? A poor, forlorn white horse-thing ostracised by the other zebras, lacking the natural camouflage of its kind and living in constant fear of lion attacks. Our poor stripe-less friend wanders the savannah alone, feeling a pang of envy every time he stops at a watering hole and catches his un-patterned reflection. The simple fact is that a zebra without stripes is incomplete and unable to live up to its full potential as a zebra. And, oddly enough, the same could be said of your lawn.
All the best lawns have stripes, after all, whether we’re talking the pristinely manicured tennis courts of Wimbledon or the expansive lawns of country manor houses across the country. A striped finish on a lawn is quintessentially British and evokes images of cricket whites, afternoon tea and lawn-proud gardeners at the Chelsea Flower Show. This is all part of a long tradition which stretches back to the early 17th century, when the English aristocracy started using carefully manicured lawns as a status symbol. The style persisted throughout the next century – with the magnificent landscape gardens of Capability Brown and William Kent making the English style popular throughout Europe – and became a tradition which continues into the present day.
The next big landmark in luxurious lawn maintenance occurred in 1830, when Edward Beard Budding invented the first lawnmower. This machine made it possible for non-aristocratic landowners to achieve the kind of immaculate finish on their lawns which had previously been the preserve of the gentry. More importantly, however, Budding’s lawnmower featured a heavy rear roller and thus popularised the striped finish that we still associate with a luxury lawn today. This effect occurs because each side of a blade of grass reflects light differently, so mowing up and down in evenly spaced columns flattens grass and creates alternating light/dark stripes for an enviably neat finish. This look is now familiar in formal lawns and sport pitches across the globe; things have come a long way from the days when striped lawns were merely an expensive extravagance for the landed nobility!
Traditionally the striped effect you see on football pitches and large lawns is created using an expensive cylinder mower, but consumers now have far more choice when it comes to rear roller machines, so these days it is easier than ever to achieve a magnificently crisp stripe on your lawn regardless of its size or shape. Hayter’s Harrier 48 series, for instance, offers a sterling example of how lawnmower technology has improved over time, making it possible for domestic gardeners to draw upon a heritage of horticultural quality long associated with the English country garden.
Designed and manufactured at Hayter’s Hertfordshire headquarters, the Harrier 48 rear rotary mower is a product of British engineering at its best. Like their 19th century predecessors, these mowers feature a heavy rear roller, although with its split design, differential steering and self-aligning roller bearings the Harrier 48’s roller is a rather more user-friendly affair than those of the unwieldy Victorian machines that first made the striped lawn popular! It remains the roller which flattens the lawn surface and produces a striped effect as you mow, though the clever design features included here mean that the Harrier 48’s roller also stabilises the mower while in operation for improved handling.
The benefits of modern horticultural innovation aren’t limited to the Harrier 48’s roller, as Hayter’s engineers have packed these machines with a variety of fancy mod-cons and superbly engineered equipment. One definite advantage that the Hayter Harrier 48 has over earlier mowers is the inclusion of a variable speed Autodrive system, with powerful Briggs & Stratton four-stroke engines driving the mower forward to make maintaining even large lawns satisfyingly effortless. The Harrier 48 ES also features an intuitive electric ignition system in addition to the traditional recoil starter, thereby saving valuable time and effort from the moment you set to work.
With this self-propulsion system and its 48cm cutting width the Hayter Harrier 48 is ideal for working on medium to large lawns, while centralised cutting height adjustment delivers a dependably even finish. Built for durability and enduring performance, these machines also feature high capacity grass collectors, die-cast aluminium cutting decks and a fully adjustable handlebar to make mowing as hassle-free as possible. And with three models available – the Harrier 48 Autodrive (490), the Harrier 48 Autodrive ES (491) with its electric starter, and the Harrier 48 Autodrive BBC (493) with its safety-enhancing blade brake clutch – Hayter allow you to choose the mower best suited to your needs.
Once you get your hands on a user-friendly rear roller mower like the Harrier 48, a luxurious striped lawn is but a stroll around the garden away. Rectangular lawns are easier to stripe than others, but with a bit of practice you can achieve a great finish on any lawn. First you will want to mow the perimeter, creating a buffer zone for turning. Next, start at one side of your garden then mow up and down towards the other side (using the straight lawn edge as a guide will help you to achieve a tidy stripe). Slightly overlapping each pass will further ensure a tidy finish, while going over the perimeter once more after you’ve finished the rest of the lawn will neaten up any irregularities leftover from turning.
Even a basic striped finish will undoubtedly leave your neighbours simmering with envy, but thanks to the manoeuvrability of the mowers in the Harrier 48 series there is no reason you should rest here. How about a jaunty diagonal stripe to jazz things up a bit? Or a checkerboard effect to reflect your longstanding love of chess? With enough time and patience you may even be able to use the light/dark effect to create a massive picture of a zebra on your lawn, which would certainly give the postman something to admire as he delivers your mail in the morning. Whatever you decide, however, with the striped effect produced by Hayter’s Harrier 48 rear rotary mowers your garden will look better than ever.