Artificial Lawns - Discuss...

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Camille
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Artificial Lawns - Discuss...

Postby Camille » Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:06 am

A number of my friends have been getting these new fangled green carpets, sorry artificial lawns, put down in lieu of grass.

Call me old fashioned (I am sure you will) but aren't our kids supposed to enjoy and experience grass/worms/mud/weeds/moss(!) etc, etc and what about the green impact....next door but one who I love drives a Prius yet now has a plastic lawn...go figure!

Opinions please but I hope the rationale is not simply to avoid muddy feet!
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Firefly
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Re: Artificial Lawns - Discuss...

Postby Firefly » Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:25 am

I read that they are not environmentally unfriendly although I find that really hard to believe and wonder whether they take into account the disposal of a big lump of plastic once it's life has finished.

I personally think they are absolutely awful. They look like fake grass, all of them, they get hot in summer and literally heat up the tiny gardens around here. I worry for wild life (although they claim they don't have any impact) and also think there is enough plastic in our children's lives without laying fake grass!
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fionapm
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Re: Artificial Lawns - Discuss...

Postby fionapm » Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:36 am

They are bad for the environment. There are fewer birds and insects now than in the past because of urbanisation. It's bad enough having concrete everywhere without replacing grass with plastic.
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juliantenniscoach
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Re: Artificial Lawns - Discuss...

Postby juliantenniscoach » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:26 am

Ours is great. We don't have a back garden much bigger than a postage stamp and sun access isn't great. A grass lawn would have been inaccessible for most of this Summer of rain for our kids to play on. The flower beds have plenty of access to worms etc.

Environmentally friendly? Well most of them are made through recycling to there's that aspect. But sure, if you just dump it after a while, that's not going to help methinks.
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mummy_dani
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Re: Artificial Lawns - Discuss...

Postby mummy_dani » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:35 am

We've just had ours done and it's great. It looks like grass and is really soft, and although it doesn't have the same feel as real grass it doesn't feel at all plasticky. Of course having no mud when it's wet outside is a massive benefit but we still have lots of birds in our garden because of the borders we have.
As for not being environmentally friendly, well it's not when it comes to disposing of it, but neither is a petrol lawnmower we'd need to cut real grass (which we don't have space for so another benefit of the fake stuff!)
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Firefly
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Re: Artificial Lawns - Discuss...

Postby Firefly » Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:53 pm

You don't need a petrol lawn mower to cut grass in the size of gardens around here. A push mower is more than sufficient.
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Firefly
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Re: Artificial Lawns - Discuss...

Postby Firefly » Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:10 pm

I meant to say as well that the lawns made from recycling are not actually in production and haven't been perfected yet. So ultimately they are made from finite oil resources, not great! I think the environmental impact is not seen because people only think about their tiny garden and saying there is plenty of space for wild life on our borders doesn't stack up.
I wonder how people would feel if the councils decided to use plastic grass in our parks and heritage sites. It's this image of mass plastic production that makes me cross. Is it so hard to get shoes off before you come indoors or buy a push mower?
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mummy_dani
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Re: Artificial Lawns - Discuss...

Postby mummy_dani » Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:37 pm

No it's not hard but it's much more convenient with children not having to take them off, then put them on 2 seconds later when they want to go back outside. Also, it's about the state of the garden not just shoes and clothes.

As for a lawnmower, space is very limited where we live and to store a lawnmower in addition to children's bikes, trikes, slide, paddling pool etc would be a hassle.

Each to their own I suppose but it works really well for us.
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townieatheart
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Re: Artificial Lawns - Discuss...

Postby townieatheart » Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:29 pm

I have lived in my property for the last 6 years. I have a tiny garden with a large tree (pruned annually) at the end which continually takes all the nutrients from the soil. During my 6 years we have continually re-seeded the grass without success, we have laid new turf which survived in its green glory for 4 months. We were therefore left with an unusable garden that was just mud, not a little that kids could just about play on, but alot of mud.
So all of you in favour of nature preservation, shall I lay concrete paving or remove the tree (which houses birds), or lay an artificial lawn?
Well we went with the lawn option and now have a garden my kids enjoy everyday, and we still have a tree for the birds to enjoy.

My point obviously is don't be so quick to judge or condemn, or basically be so narrow minded!
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theessentialtouch
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Re: Artificial Lawns - Discuss...

Postby theessentialtouch » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:43 pm

We are on our third round of turf. My husband is adamant he doesn't want fake grass, as we already live in a fairly concrete society, but I can already see this latest lawn gradually dying on us! Half the garden is in shade 90% of the time, so its doesn't do well.
I don't get too much mud in the house, thankfully, but I can't believe the amount of grass that gets everywhere!

I must say the thought of fake grass on the common is quite scary, but I guess the fact that we have all this amazing green space so close to home means that we don't miss it in our own back gardens. I know I wouldn't, but I have given my husband full rights to do the garden as he wishes and in return I got the last word on our kitchen design. How medieval is that in a marriage!? :)
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juliantenniscoach
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Re: Artificial Lawns - Discuss...

Postby juliantenniscoach » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:46 am

I don't think it's 'medieval' at all - whatever works! Caveman me doesn't touch garden but does decking, shed and bbq's.

Just a point about concrete and artificial grass. There are no drainage problems with the artificial grass, in fact the opposite. They are a long way from the coarse sand filled nylon carpets of the '80's.

The only small problem we have with ours is that on exceptionally hot days it can get warm underfoot if you're sensitive. However this year............well that hasn't been as issue :cry:
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mummo
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Re: Artificial Lawns - Discuss...

Postby mummo » Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:48 pm

With our less than spacious gardens around here it is a good option - surely better than paving/decking/concrete or whatever other alternatives there are when an area is too small/shady/waterlogged etc to lay turf. In an ideal world I'm sure a lot of us would love to have larger gardens with the real thing, but we don't and to my mind artificial grass is a good solution. It drains easily (and I mean drains - water doesn't run off into storm drains as it does from hard surfaces), birds are constantly picking bits out of ours - I guess seeds, bugs etc and yes it's not full of wriggly worms and slugs, but our borders are. Granted in the long run it is more plastic waste but seeing as it's not a cheap option, I don't imagine people are going to dispose of it too readily. Ours is a few years old now and is still looking great. Each to their own, but I don't for a moment feel guilty about making the choice to go fake, especially as what was there before was a lot less green.
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GardenRosie
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Re: Artificial Lawns - Discuss...

Postby GardenRosie » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:35 pm

As a garden designer people often ask about this...

In my view, nothing is as good as real grass, but the most important thing about a garden is that it is used and is useful. If grass doesn't work in your house then don't try and force it. If having artificial grass (or as a last resort, paving) means that you go outside more, eat together more, use your house for parties more, let your children play in the garden more... then thats a good thing.

If I am using artificial grass, I try and make up for it by having really generous planting - whether in raised beds, borders or pots I try to pack in plants which will provide habitats for wildlife and some nectar for pollinators so that at least the borders are a little more environmentally friendly.

Lastly, there are some fantastic products on the market which do look realistic, but as yet there isn't anything that I think feels realistic. On a hot day its warm underfoot rather than as cooling and fragrant as a real lawn. It does also involve some maintenance - the odd jet wash if the neighbours cat does its business and clearing any fallen leaves off (which on a normal lawn might rot in).

So, if it means you will use your garden more and get closer to the plants and creatures within it, then go for it.

Rosie x

www.rosienottage.com
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