Allett Announce 2023 Creative Lawn Stripes Champion- Tim Sanken From The USA
We have been running our Allett Creative Stripes Competition for 10 years now and have had some incredible entries in from all over the world. Last years competition was won by Edward Aitken of Cornbury House and he kindly accepted our offer to take on the role of this years judge- a difficult task! We are amazed at just what can be done with grass and this competition really does put lawn mowing on the map.
Here are this years top 6 as voted for by a panel of Allett experts. They were then put to Edward Aitken for the final judging process.
6th Place - Emyr Jones, Gwynedd,Wales
My Name is Emyr. I am 49 and married with 2 kids. I started a grass cutting round 7 years ago after working on a Dairy Farm for 21 years.
I started off just normal mowing then got slightly obsessed with stripes and lawncare so as my business grew I purchased the Toro prostripe 560 with grooming brush along with a good feed regime. The grass looks good after putting stripes down.
I practised the design on several of my customers lawns (which hopefully looks like a 3D lawn). I did double stripes first then dis-engaged the blade and set the cutting height one notch lower then went over the double stripes again making them stand out more. I then did the same with the diagonals but going over them two or three times with the grooming brush.
''I really enjoyed this one very clean, precise and straight lines in a lovely setting with the pattern tying in with the hedging''
5th Place Nicklas Andersson , Sweden
I have participated in the competition twice before with top 6 placings both times. In previous years I have created patterns with height differences but this year I chose a different path and had the same cutting height on the entire lawn. The pattern I created was very much spontaneous and involved a lot of looking at the design from above via a drone so I could develop it all the time while cutting. I used Allett Kensington 20K.
''There’s a lot going on in this design but that’s why I like it! Just on how many steps and the time it would take to complete and repeat each week makes it a well deserved finalist, very different!''
4th Place Carl Kent, Leicester, UK
First of all, WOW, if it wasn’t for Robbie Lynn I wouldn’t of known about the competition. He commented on my design saying it was a worthy candidate after never seeing anything like it before. He used the idea for his charity doo's on his YouTube channel called Premier Lawns so I thought I would send a picture in and see how it goes.
I’m a self employed Floorlayer for 30 years, I started out as a apprentice groundsman at Leicester City but after 2 and a half years I fell out of love for the job. After leaving Leicester City I never was interested in the garden and lawn until my daughter asked me one night how the grass on Tottenham's pitch was different shades of green. I explained that they will brush/roll/cut the grass different ways to create the colour patterns and said that I’d show her the next day with our lawn. As soon as I started brushing and rolling the pattern I felt all the passion I had some 15 years previous and so I began treating the lawn like Filbert Street.
The idea of the design came after Leicester City’s head groundsman John Ledwidge put stars on the pitch for their last game of the season when they won the league in 2016. I thought of how he would do it and got a sheet of plywood and cut out a star, put it on my lawn and brushed the star the opposite way the grass was facing giving me a dark green star on a light green stripe. Then I started getting creative. My passion is the Rolling Stones. My twins were born on Mick Jaggers birthday so I named them Charlie Mick and Georgia Jagger for there first and second names. I cut out the shape of the Rolling Stones logo on plywood and hoping for the best tried brushing the same as the star. As luck had it it worked. I have made a few stencils over the last 6/7 years but only recently joined/ found lawn enthusiasts on Facebook and put a few pictures on their pages not realising that hardly anyone has seen or done anything like what I do.
Judge's comments: This is a really fun original idea and I’ll definitely try this approach on my lawn. It’s really well maintained grass and works well in a small space to add something very unique to the garden.
Tito Triana, East Sussex, UK
I'm so glad to have made another entry to this fantastic competition! I really wanted to come up with a design that gave the elusion that there was a 3D shape sat on the lawn and I'm really pleased with the result.
I began by measuring out a cube using stakes and string and slowly began reducing the height of cut in the surrounding areas over a 4-week period. I always enjoy the added attention the lawn needs when cutting at such low heights and was impressed with how well the grass held up with daily mowing at 8mm. The 3D elusion is a result of different heights of cut as well as tapering the design from bottom to top which was a lot harder than I initially thought to do within scale across the shape and in a way that made it look realistic.
I currently have a technical specifications role within the construction industry, but previously had a career in Golf for 10 years so have always had a good appreciation of turf care and passion for the process of maintaining it to a high standard.
It's a huge honour to be chosen within the top six as every year the competition has gone from strength to strength with some truly spectacular designs.
Cole Flick, Usa
Thank you so much Laura! I haven’t entered in a few years, but previously I’ve made the top six 3 times. Hoping this year may be the top spot.
I am a volunteer groundskeeper of a small town baseball field in Dassel Minnesota USA. I love the creativity of mowing patterns into my ball field. This year my field hosted Minnesota’s 100th anniversary tournament of Amateur baseball. My pattern entered was one of two that was intended to be a play on words, “come see the stars play.” I mowed this star into the field.
I knew I wanted to have an eye catching pattern mowed into the field. Something that would contrasts of colours and directions. The star allowed for numerous angles and changes of directions as well as contrasts of light and dark grass. Additionally I wanted the fans no matter where the view of the field was from to have crisp lines in the grass to see.
The challenges were placing the star in the centre of the field and having each point of the star symmetrical. My baseball field has unique boundaries that are not exactly square or symmetrical. I used the help of my wife and laid strings out where I felt each star point should fall. This was a great challenge as geometry is not my cup of tea. Another challenge was to do with the inside of the star. I knew this would be difficult to cut as the lines would get increasingly smaller and tighter. I chose to use circles in opposite directions to fill in the star. This required mowing to a certain point raising the mower to skip areas and lowering the mower to continue.
I use a Toro 3100D Sodewinder triplex mower set at 1” cutting height.
Tim Sanken, USA
A little about me. Professionally, I am the Director of Safety for a beer, wine, and spirits distributor in the US. I’ve always enjoyed mowing the lawn as a way to de-stress and relax.
Five years ago I added a striping kit to my mower and started making designs in my lawn. I posted photos on my social media, tagging them as #grassterpiece theatre. People seemed to enjoy my creative approach to what amounts to a mundane chore for most, and I got a kick out of their reactions. Everyone needs a hobby!
The inspiration for this design came from a video I saw last year on Instagram where a farmer was plowing their field in a repeating figure-eight pattern. I had an idea, sketched a concept on a piece of paper, and headed out with my mower. I started with a diagonal line from one corner to the other and kept going with what essentially amounted to four repeating, connected triangles. The design looks nonsensical from the ground, but as soon as I got a view from my drone the design popped. And when I swung around in a wide arc the 3D effect came to life.
I mowed that pattern after last year’s competition and decided to do it for my 2023 entry. This design was cut only once this season in a single mowing session with my Honda HRX rotary mower and Checkmate striping kit from Big League Lawns. There was no repeated mowing of the same pattern, and no variation of the height of cut. This is simply the effects of bending the grass in slightly different directions to get the variation in shading.
Thank you for considering my design. It is very humbling to be included among the many pristine and professional level looking lawns that make the finals every year.