Country diary 1924: scything skills on display in Paris | Plants

PARIS: In Paris as in London the chief beauty of the season is the velvety greenness of the lawns. The use of a machine is uncommon even in the public parks, and in front of the Louvre this morning teams of men were sweeping together the mowings while other experts were swinging scythes. It is perhaps the most perfect method of keeping grass, though seldom seen in its perfection, and perhaps pursued here because in the heat of summer grass frequently disappears and has to be resown from year to year. The fine seedling grass, like uncut hair, is a characteristic feature of Paris gardens, and would no doubt be liable to be damaged by a machine.

It is pleasant to be reminded that the largest French town has direct and natural communication with the wildlife of the country. The gulls are a happy accident in London; here, in the Parc Montsouris, comparable to Battersea Park for its distance from the centre, the air is alive with swifts from morning to night; no one put them there or fed them or encouraged them to come; and their company is all the more delightful on that account.

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