With the Chelsea Flower Show recently over, were you shocked by the appearance of artificial lawns in the designer show gardens? In fact, the bright green alternative to turf has made an appearance at the show since 2010 where it caused a bit of controversy with the traditionalists.
Namgrass artificial grass was the first to feature in a Chelsea Show garden.
Is it any different from the so-called fake, man-made paving created to imitate the ‘real thing’? We have become accustomed to seeing exceptionally true to life sandstone, limestone, and even imitation timber railways sleepers and think nothing of it. Walls made from fibreglass with the texture and colour of stone are frequently used where a heavier, more expensive product is impractical.
It was interesting to read two sides of the argument for and against the artificial lawn in this month’s issue of Gardeners’ World Magazine, where Helen Yemm and James Alexander-Sinclair sparred with one another on the various merits of the new product. Their views were not completely diametrically opposed – sensible of the benefits and yet against any trend which would turn a garden into a no-maintenance environment devoid of planting.
In its favour James said: ‘An artificial lawn means that children can be levered away from their screens to go out and play at any time of the year.’ Whilst Helen, amused by various friends who aren’t averse to popping in a few artificial flowers into, what would otherwise be a dull bed, was pretty much against the idea apart from in the tiniest of gardens.
The quality and choice of artificial turf of today is a far cry from the skin-ripping AstroTurf of the original sports pitches or the wayward greengrocer’s decorative matting. The superb Namgrass range, as used by Acer is testament to that, with super-realistic grasses available for a range of lawn uses.
For me, the main benefits are for families with very young children who want a safe, clean outdoor place for them to crawl around and play in and for the elderly, who love to be outdoors and garden, but for whom the lawn has become one chore too many. After all, I expect that for most gardeners, the lawn is more time consuming to care for than any flower bed and far less interesting.
Guest blog by Amanda Brown from Gardening Tips Online