I used to completely dismiss the use of artificial grass in my garden design schemes. Creating gardens which benefit the wildlife would not go with artificial grass at all.
While designing a small town garden with a trampoline and a playhouse last year the client decided to use artificial grass under the trampoline mainly for maintenance purposes. The remaining lawn areas should be turfed ‘normally’.
As the turfed area is not straight rectangular or circular but consists of many small rectangular shapes designed around a playhouse this was easily achieved by separating the artificial grass from the ‘real’ one only with a single brick edge. Down it goes in no time, finished off with a layer of sand brushed in – done. Wow, I thought …..it actually doesn’t look too bad either.
Having maintained the garden now over the past year I must confess that I do like the artificial grass, it has its purpose in gardens where the area to be turfed is either small or shady or time to maintain is very restricted. The beautiful green lawn behind the playhouse is half dead now and all the edges where plants have spilled over the edge onto the lawn are brown and unsightly.
Ok, they will recover next year but I’m not so sure about the patch behind the playhouse. I’m thinking about the amount of time I spent on mowing and trimming edges compared to the quick rake off under the trampoline. It always looks tidy, and the shade of green actually looks quite natural. Lovely ! No moss growing and no dandelions. I know already that I must use weed killer in spring and other lawn treatments to keep the real one looking healthy and bouncy. How eco is that actually ?
Don’t get me wrong, I do love lawns, that’s what the English are famous for, don’t they ? Nothing more classy than creating such a beautiful sight. But the small, shady gardens which, if a lawn is wanted, would benefit so much more from artificial grass. The choice is almost endless in many various suppliers with different shades of green and softness of the grass.
I have designed my own garden now – watch this space – and am planning to start building works in spring. I had to include a small patch of grass mainly to please other family members as they think it is an important element in the garden. Ok, football with the kids or a game of badminton, I had to give in. But I will use artificial grass this time amongst abundant flower beds with wildlife/ bee friendly planting. And lots of ornamental grasses , can’t wait ! No mowing, no dandelions to get mad about, no muddy boots in winter as we are on heavy clay – but, will I miss the daisies ?