Should we BAN mowing lawns to save bees? TV gardener Diarmuid Gavin urges GMB viewers to ditch manicured gardens and ‘encourage weeds’ after being inspired by Greta Thunberg

  • Chelsea Flower Show host Diarmuid Gavin, 57, appeared on GMB this morning
  • He urged viewers to stop mowing their lawns so bees can pollinate the plants 
  • TV gardener said that manicured gardens are ‘deserts in terms of biodiversity’
  • Viewers weren’t convinced by the argument insisting there’s ‘not a chance’ 

TV gardener Diarmuid Gavin has urged Britons to stop mowing their lawns in order to help the environment after being inspired by Greta Thunberg. 

The Chelsea Flower Show host, 57, appeared on Good Morning Britain today to debate whether people should let their gardens run wild to create habitats for bees to pollinate. 

Irish-born garden designer Diarmuid says weeds and dandelions should be ‘encouraged’ because lawns are ‘deserts’ in terms of biodiversity and gardens are often the ‘last refuge of wildlife’. 

He appeared with plant biologist and Gardeners’ World star Pippa Greenwood who said there’s ‘no question’ that gardening is good for the environment – with viewers agreeing that there’s ‘no chance’ they’d let their garden completely overgrow. 

Speaking from a friend’s home in Preston, Diarmuid said of Thunberg: ‘This amazing schoolgirl who first of all went on a strike every Friday, just sat in a place with a sign saying: “You adults are messing up”. 

‘I thought, I’ve messed up plenty in my life, what can I do? How can I talk about gardening with the environment and make it a little bit better? So the thing I do was take out lawns completely.’ 

He went on to explain: ‘I think it’s really important, we give over so much of our gardens to lawns and they’re absolutely deserts in terms of biodiversity. 

‘Lawns are made up of individual grass plants and what we tend to do is just before those plants go into flower, we go over with the mower because we want everything looking neat and tidy and take off the flower. So the bees and the insects can’t get to that pollen and cross pollinate.’ 

TV gardener Diarmuid Gavin has urged Britons to stop mowing their lawns in order to help the environment after being inspired by Greta Thunberg

Viewers weren’t convinced by Diarmuid’s argument and said there’s ‘no chance’ they’d let their garden completely overgrow

But Pippa said that gardening in itself is good for the environment, and that a lawn will usually act as a ‘foil’ for other plants, which can act as pollinators for bees. 

‘I think all this about banning things is ridiculous, plants and gardening are some of the most wildlife-friendly [hobbies]’, she said. 

‘In reality, people generally use their lawns as a bit of a foil for other plants, whether it’s shrubs or trees, whatever it is – all those plants are acting as a good source of nectar for bees and other pollinators.  

‘When you have that mixture of plants, which you will get in a garden, then there’s no question about it being good for wildlife.’ 

She added: ‘You really are doing nothing but being good for the environment and this whole banning lawns is absolutely barking’. 

But Diarmuid argued that we should ‘cut down’ on manicured lawns and allow weeds and dandelions to grow. 

The Chelsea Flower Show host, 57, appeared on Good Morning Britain today to debate whether people should let their gardens run wild to create habitats for bees to pollinate

He appeared with plant biologist and Gardeners’ World star Pippa Greenwood who said there’s ‘no question’ gardening is good for the environment

‘Gardens are often the last refuge of wildlife, so we should have more gardens for the bees and cut down on the manicured lawns we have and encourage even in ordinary lawns, weeds, dandelions, daisies, they produce an enormous amount of pollen we shouldn’t be worried about them’. 

He added: ‘It will make a huge difference. The vast majority of our space in our garden is given over to this area of green, we have to encourage habitats and garden in a much more messy way. ‘  

Viewers weren’t convinced by Diarmuid’s argument, with one writing: ‘No, because I like to sit in the garden in the sun with the grass up to my neck!’ 

Another said: ‘Not a chance I plant loads of flowers in my garden for the bees I am not letting weeds take over my garden by not cutting the lawn’. 

A third wrote: ‘Some gardener is on #GMB talking about not cutting grass anymore … he’s standing on a freshly cut lawn.’ 

Another agreed: ‘So Diarmuid wants to ban cutting lawns as he’s stood on a freshly cut lawn.’ 

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