The Irish Times talk about Artificial Grass

Artificial grass: a hassle-free option for small areas and balconies Low maintenance, it stays green all year round and it could last up to 20 years.

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Artificial grass: a hassle-free option for small areas and balconies Low maintenance, it stays green all year round and it could last up to 20 years.

My sister is planning a garden revamp at the moment and is considering putting in artificial grass. The product has improved incredibly in the last few years and rather than conjuring up memories of a crazy golf course it is now convincingly realistic and extremely versatile.Her two boys live in the back garden, rain or shine they are happiest kicking a ball. But it has taken its toll on the grass, which with so much wet weather and football practice is less than lush hence her attraction to the artificial variety.Now I love my garden and my husband actually says he loves cutting the grass because it’s the only time he gets any peace and quiet. So it’s not the right option for everyone but in certain situations it is a good choice.For those looking for a hassle-free garden that always looks good, artificial grass ticks all the boxes. It requires minimum maintenance, stays green all year round and a well-crafted lawn could last up to 20 years.There are many different varieties to choose from with varying price ranges too.The more realistic lawns are made up of a mix of colours to give a more natural appearance. They also come in different lengths, from short, around 8mm, to a longer more lush variety at 36mm.If the lawn is being installed on to an existing grassy area it’s important the surface you intend laying it on to is nice and level – this might mean digging out an existing grassy area to create an even surface.Aggregate is then laid and compacted on top and covered with a weed-proof membrane. Then the lawn is rolled out over the membrane like a carpet. It’s very important to make sure that when joining the rolls of grass all blades are facing in the same direction to achieve a realistic and uniform look.It’s a good choice for small spaces such as balconies, and roof terraces.We installed it in an apartment recently on the floor and up one wall of each of the two balconies to bring a little bit of green to city living.It’s also a brilliant choice for small or courtyard gardens where storage for a lawnmower is limited and you’ll never have to worry about cutting the grass again.

The more realistic the grass the more expensive it tends to be. Prices range from a basic lawn starting at around €18 per sq m to a more luxurious lawn starting at €35 per sq m. These prices are for the material only and would not include any ground works or fitting.Covering an entire garden can be quite costly. But you might consider using it in a small section of your garden only. It’s a great choice for a children’s play area for example and works brilliantly under swings where the grass tends to get worn away leaving muddy patches.There’s no question its no-maintenance and crisp look appeals to those who want a great-looking garden without the worry of upkeep.

Denise OConnor is an architect and design consultant

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