PUBLISHED: 16:22 06 September 2012 | UPDATED: 21:49 20 February 2013
In his twenty-five year documentary film making career, Christopher Duncan lost count of the number of times he uttered the words above as he returned from various conflicts and war zones around the world
IM GLAD I DIDNT DIE TODAY
In his twenty-five year documentary film making career, Christopher Duncan lost count of the number of times he uttered the words above as he returned from various conflicts and war zones around the world. He lists Kosovo, Bosnia, Sarajevo, The Congo, and Rwanda as just a handful of the places where something very bad very nearly happened to yours truly.
The youthful fifty year old, who sheltered in a ditch while a battle between Serbian troops and Kosovan rebels raged around him, and once found himself accused of spying and locked up in a malaria infested jail somewhere in Zaire, left the world of television three years ago and now lives a far quieter life running a Sussex based lawn care business. He says that the death in Iraq of a good friend and colleague really shook him, and he decided that after twenty five years of pushing my luck it was time I did something more down to earth.
But it wasnt all bombs and bullets. Chris has visited over seventy-five countries and worked on many well known television programmes and series. One of his favourites was BBC TVs Gardeners World and it was here, encouraged by the fondly remembered presenter Geoff Hamilton, that Christopher developed his appreciation of gardens and gardening. Geoff was a wonderful man. He had such a simple, straightforward approach to gardening. He was also a superb teacher by working with him I learned a huge amount.
When asked why he chose to offer a specialist lawn aeration service he explains by saying, when we moved to our current home near Bexhill on Sea the lawns were very ropey. Foolishly I wasted a small fortune on overseeding, fertilisers, moss killers, lawn tonics and other remedies before deducing that what appeared on the surface were symptoms, and the real problem lay beneath.
Years of use had compacted the soil until it was virtually airless; the roots of the grass were unable to take up the water and nutrients which are vital to plant heath. Core aeration a mechanical process of removing hundreds of small plugs of earth, was the solution. Within weeks it had recovered its health and was soon transformed into a rich, velvety green lawn which was a joy to walk on. Friends and neighbours who saw how lush and green my grass was soon began asking me if I could aerate their lawns, and this has grown into a business which is doing very well.
Being a one man band means I can keep overheads to an absolute minimum and deliver what is the single most beneficial and effective lawn treatment to customers at a price which is little more than the cost of getting a man in to mow the grass.
Uniquely Christopher offers a two stage service. After using his core aeration machine on a lawn he then applies an extremely clever liquid treatment which takes the decompaction process even further down into the root zone. Imported exclusively by Chris the lotion is composed of long chains of molecules which uncoil in the ground creating thousands of little fissures which relieve the compaction even more.
Provocatively we asked if working on lawns is a tad mundane after all the action of his first career. Not at all he instantly replied. Ive always been an outdoors person so I love the working environment. Nothing could be better than being out and about delivering a much needed service which really gets results at an affordable price, and here in Sussex its unlikely Ill ever find myself in the midst of a firefight!
The Perfect Lawn: 01424 400140, www.perfect-lawn.co.uk