Product of the Week – The Lawn Mower

Your garden is not just a mass of plants (or maybe it is?).  The built forms, pavement, structure, furniture, pots and implements of your garden are what make it unique and truly yours.

So we celebrate the products that enhance your garden, or make life easier for you to keep it looking great.

Product of the Week – The Lawn Mower

Author: Amy Davidson

Our lawn mower stopped working four weeks ago. Longest four weeks in my gardening history. While the erratic Melbourne weather has given us days of intense heat, well above average rainfall and humidity unheard of this far south, I have been frantically trying to get the old girl fixed.

As the weeks dragged on and the risk of stepping on unseen barker’s eggs, Lego and misplaced garden tools increased, I reflected on the lawn mower and just what an impact it has made on outdoor spaces and how we use them.  Prior to the 1830’s, turf was cut using a scythe or domesticated grazing animals.


Lawns were an element of wealthy estates and manor houses. Edwin Budding invented the first lawn mower in 1830 with London Zoo and Oxford being the first places to own and use the machines.  The original design was remarkably similar to the petrol models we use today for residential maintenance; however, they were made of cast iron and required a team of people to move them.  It wasn’t until the 1860’s that manufacture of the lawn mower took off and they became readily used.

A horsedrawn lawn mower on an Australian golf course in the 1930s (

Design of the machines were refined, and larger scale mowers were created for agriculture and recreation (think sportsfields, golf courses, botanic gardens).

A groundskeeper in Vanuatu keeps his field looking pristine (Photo by Victoria Kennedy)

The lawn mower played a huge role in our embrace of the garden as an extension of our homes. We stopped turning our backs on the garden and seeing it as a place to grow food and store refuse.

I’m happy to say that our mower has been repaired, the lawns have been cut and I feel comfortable enough to open the curtains again.

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