Over the fence

Over the fence What’s the case for an ar­ti­fi­cial lawn? Is one ever ac­cept­able in a ‘proper’ gar­den?

Gardeners' World - - Contents -

Fake grass: an eco no-no or time saver?

There’s no worry about weeds with an ar­ti­fi­cial lawn Daisies, clover and speed­well pro­vide a source of nec­tar for in­sects

ime is a cur­rency nowa­days. I could spend an hour cut­ting my grass, or an hour play­ing ‘shops’ out­doors with my daugh­ter, and this is where the world of ar­ti­fi­cial grass could come in to save the day. The time as­pect is a mas­sive thing for me. Ev­ery­one knows that if a gar­den is look­ing a bit tatty around the edges, it can be ti­died up no end by cut­ting the grass, but how about the gar­den look­ing that neat and tidy all the time by opt­ing for an ar­ti­fi­cial lawn? No drag­ging the lawn­mower out ev­ery week, or getting rid of grass cut­tings. No wor­ry­ing about weeds find­ing their way through, or hav­ing to wa­ter it af ter weeks of sun beat­ing down on it – just a beaut i f ul , green, pris­tine lawn ready to go ev­ery time you step out­side your back door. My nan is al­ways ask­ing me how to stop her dog ru­in­ing the lawn, and patchy yel­low spots in the gar­den are not some­thing you’d be proud to show the neigh­bours when they pop over for a cuppa. But an ar­ti­fi­cial lawn solves the prob­lem by rolling out the green car­pet for them. Ar­ti­fi­cial grass can be quite ex­pen­sive, de­pend­ing on the size of space you are cov­er­ing, and if you are going to do it then scrimp­ing and buy­ing the cheap stuff can do more harm than good. But for me the pos­i­tives out­weigh the neg­a­tives, and as a home in­vest­ment you’ll never look back. As long as you have plenty of real plants for wildlife and real gar­den­ing to get in­volved with in your gar­den – as you’ve got to get some soil be­tween those fin­gers some­where along the way – then I say ar­ti­fi­cial grass could be the fu­ture and we should all try to em­brace it. ar­den­ing is about cul­ti­vat­ing plants – and that in­cludes the lawn. A lawn should not be a life­less layer; a real lawn is easy on the eye and a green space with an en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fit. It pro­duces oxy­gen, takes in car­bon diox­ide and slows down rain­wa­ter run-off to pre­vent flash flood­ing. Change your mind­set, see weeds as wild flow­ers and your lawn will be trans­formed into a ben­e­fi­cial habi­tat, a pretty car­pet, pat­terned with daisies, clover and speed­well (all sources of nec­tar for in­sects), and you will soon have black­birds search­ing for worms, green wood­peck­ers prob­ing the sur­face for ants and pied wag­tails and robins catch­ing in­sects. With a push mower, you can have a good work­out, with no need to go to the gym, and the lawn clip­pings can be mixed into the com­post heap as an ac­ti­va­tor to break down woody ma­te­rial. Ar­ti­fi­cial lawns don’t of­fer any­thing to the en­vi­ron­ment; they’re just for your con­ve­nience. As for the time it takes, if you mow lit­tle and of­ten, prefer­ably twice a week dur­ing active growth, mow­ing the lawn doesn’t take long at all; you won’t have to lift a heavy grass box ei­ther. If you are wor­ried about urine patches, just stand by with a bucket of wa­ter to pour over the grass when a dog wees, or train them to go in one place. The trou­ble with ar­ti­fi­cial lawns is how­ever hard you try, they don’t look real. They’re too uni­form and con­sis­tently green, the light doesn’t shine through as it does with real grass, the sur­face they cre­ate is dead flat. Slap bang in the mid­dle of your per­sonal par­adise is an life­less green space. You’ll be plant­ing ar­ti­fi­cial trees next!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.