For many garden enthusiasts the centrepiece of a beautiful garden is of course a lush green manicured lawn. Any thoughts of replacing a natural lawn with a synthetic or artificial grass would surely be greeted with cynicism and derision. However there are circumstances where the synthetic lawn is perhaps the only practical alternative to a real lawn. Such circumstances include persistently damp sites where the owners find it impossible to retain any reasonable grass surface or lawn. In other cases the garden space may be too small and the presence of pets (usually dogs) with constant wear and tear, can severely impact the quality of the lawn area. This usually results in permanent bare patches or very weak and poor grass. This situation continues to deteriorate especially during prolonged damp spells and throughout the cold and wet winter months, a messy muddy surface is inevitable. Matters go from bad to worse when the mud is transferred indoors by pets and/or young children. In real severe cases the homeowners are forced to make the ‘garden’ off limits. In such circumstances, synthetic grass provides a purpose fit durable all weather surface.
Here is a real example in which the owners had tried in vain to retain a lawn and despite replacing the lawn on a number of occasions. A typical new urban garden space is modest in size, the ground conditions generally poor which contributed to the poor drainage leading to weakened grass etc. The owners wanted to enjoy the garden more and love their pet dog. Having tried repeatedly and failed, they decided to remove the lawn, but with what do you replace it? Options included paving the whole area, but paving wall to wall can look very harsh and rarely works. A combination of paving with pebbles was not considered very practical especially when it comes to cleaning up after the dog. Having considered a number of options, it was decided to replace the lawn with synthetic grass and also include some Raised Planting Beds to provide better growing conditions as well as some protection for the plants from the pet dog.
The ground preparation for installing a synthetic lawn is broadly similar to installing a paved area, ie, remove lawn, excavate soil area, the compacted hardcore is blinded with compacted sand. This provides a secure base for the synthetic surface which is secured by fixing to a pressure treated perimeter timber frame.
Synthetic grass surfaces have distinct advantages over natural equivalents including low maintenance all weather area, no cutting or trimming, even cleaning is easy. Quality synthetics are available in a range of grades to suit individual preferences. Most are UV stable, so will not fade and pet fouling will not stain and is easily removed. Synthetic grass provides a durable child and pet friendly surface and is ideal for situations where owners require a real alternative for garden spaces where natural lawn is not practical.
Owen Chubb is a leading Garden Designer and Landscaper based in Dublin, Ireland. Many of his ideas and advice have been tried and tested through many years of professional experience as owner manager of a well established and award winning garden design and landscaping company which provides Private and Commercial clients a complete landscaping service including Garden Design, Construction & Planting.
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