Thursday, 10 July 2008

Is the grass greener on the artificial side?

After years of mockery, belittling and ridicule of the fake plant brigade, I'm going over to the dark side. Ok, I'm not going over all the way. I'm just going over to admire the artificial grass.
I've always been adamant that there is no proper place for fake in gardening - gardens are one of the few places that are real in the high-tech, modern lives we lead. (There is little place for gnomes in my gardens... unless they are real of course).



But lately I've found myself looking at artificial grass in a different light. Its got a lot going for it that I couldn't see when I couldn't see past the word "artificial":

1. It doesn't need any water. In our water conserving times, this is a big plus. Anything that stays green, and doesn't need to be watered twice a week deserves a little recognition.

2. It's durable. It will take a fair amount of traffic without looking untidy or worn.

3. It doesn't need to be trimmed. For those of you who find the process of mowing lawns cathartic, you can close your eyes for this one. But the costs in time, labour and resources in keeping a lawn in perfect condition can be a strong argument against lawns.

4. It seems to be much improved from the strange green colour and texture that it used to have. There seems to be better and more choices these days.

5. There is also the argument that large areas of grass are artificial anyway, and do little for the environment anyway.

I'm not arguing that artificial grass is on an equal footing with grass - it isn't. For one thing, that feeling of walking barefoot on cool grass can't be replaced.
I think the place for artificial grass is for areas where the look of a lawn is what's needed, but for any number of reasons it won't grow without undue amounts of work to keep it looking at its best.

Will you be going over to the dark side?
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