Job done - Grass planting for monastic makeover

Project: Replicating appearance of old dry stone walls
Client: Aruna Ratanagiri Buddhist Monastery
Contractor: Barenbrug

When monks wanted to replicate the aged look of Northumberland's Aruna Ratanagiri Buddhist Monastery after they built a new wall, they chose Barenbrug's BAR Platinum with its slender creeping red fescues, chewings fescue and perennial ryegrass.

David Greybe, a postulant at the monastery, had previous experience with Barenbrug, having worked as a greenkeeper on the Old Course at St Andrews, so the monks approached the firm.

"We had built a new stone wall by our guest house and wanted to replicate the natural appearance of the walls with their indigenous grasses growing over them," Greybe said. "The most unusual aspect was getting grass to grow on top of the two outer walls. But we were restricted by the amount of rootzone we could pile on to the outer walls and managed a depth of only 1cm. We added horse-manure compost and to our surprise the seed germinated."

The wall is 21m long and 41cm wide with a rootzone between the two outer walls. The deeper rootzone goes down 30cm. The seed was sown in September and germinated 14 days after planting. Younger grasses covered the area within six weeks.

Barenbrug sales office manager Caroline Sadler said: "We felt sure that BAR Platinum, known for its versatility, would provide the growth pattern and aesthetic look that the project required."

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