Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Would You Put Fake Grass In Your Yard Or Garden?

My yard is a big hot mess. There's a beat up gravel driveway that leads to a patch of sandy crab grass.

This is not my ghetto grass yard, though the crab grass is just like mine

I'm ready for a change. Nothing will grow in the crab grass patch, except, uh crab grass. I have some beds on the sides with some stone gravel. The bedding plants are pretty good: Banana trees, Night Blooming Jasmine, bougainvillea, a palm tree, and a huge tree like lantana.
The current (August 2009) Veranda has a story called Botanical Hues Nuances From Nature. Memo to Veranda, please put more photos from the magazine on your web site.

There's a double spread centerfold (page 69) that is just perfect. Instead of the pool pavilion, we have a garage that is never used for cars, so I want to do a center piece of lawn surrounded by gravel paths in front of it.

I saw this HGTV show where the garden makeover was very Frenchy. There were gravel paths around a nice grass lawn in one section, and beautiful stone patios in another section. This is what I have been thinking of doing!

The part with the patch of grass was under some trees, and it was deemed too shady for a good lawn to grow.

So the landscape designer suggested fake grass! Like most of us I associate fake grass with Astro Turf in a stadium, or that bright green indoor outdoor carpet used lovingly by the great old guard suburban housewife, or by a mini golf course owner. Uh, like kind of tacky.

Moi use fake grass when my visions of lavender lined pathways in France or Italy fueled my homegrown garden desires?

And yet the HGTV finished product was so good looking and so charming. And the owner's dogs loved it. So I did some research, and apparently you can just hose off dog pee.

It's pricey though. About $2700. for a 600 square foot patch (which is about what I need).

My yard guy is going to give me a quote on digging up the crab grass, making the gravel edges, and planting a new lawn. He's got a driveway guy too, who is going to give me a price on doing a concrete (or cement - seeeement - as they say here in the South) driveway. I asked for the concrete to have a larger than usual ratio of small rocks mixed in, to sort mimic my dream gravel (or shell) driveway.


Renee Finberg said...

do it !!
it sounds like a great idea.

home before dark said...

I am not so sure. I think I would try planting mondo grass or other grass-like plants. No mowing!

VictoriaArt said...

I prefer the real deal, maybe you do gravel and pots and some grasses???
PS: I just posted a long(!) post on the wonderful VERANDA edition and Elle decor . Same picture, it's funny!
We're gone for a couple of weeks and hope to see you back mid August!!!
Love - Victoria

KitchAnn said...

I like fake grass in areas that don't get sun or would be hard to mow. Driveways with "grass inserts" are ideal places to put fake grass. You don't have to water your driveway and if you use stone you don't have to worry about a mower kicking rocks.

I love, love, love those grass circles!

Sabina said...

I love your plan, but I went to a garden seminar where they talked about the new fake grasses. They only last a few years, and they are expensive. Mondo grass is a good substitute, you know it grows well there. How about sod? My St Augustine lawn in Lakeview was fabulous, remember? Forget about lavender, however, it's too wet in New Orleans.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I think grass is overrated anyway. I much prefer a small amount of grass, and more stone pathways and flower beds. And as for the fake grass....um...yipes!

Kirby said...

hell, yes. no cutting, no watering. you just hose it off occasionally.

Anonymous said...

No, Miz Vee! No! Don't do it!

Willow Decor: said...

This is a very interesting idea to me. I have several areas that just will not grow grass. I am interested in seeing what you decide.

Rebecca@Harmony and Home said...

I have a friend who planted fake grass in her entire back yard and it just didn't look good. They spent something like $27,000 and I think it was the biggest mistake ever. Ultimately you have to do what is right for you, but talk to a lot of people before you do!

Anonymous said...

The faux grass tends to get VERY hot, like you can't walk on it barefoot hot, and then, what's the point?

Pigtown-Design said...

Haha! I have a 12x12 foot cee-ment back yard - those 1880's houses didn't really have yards - and thought about putting down some fake grass! But I think I might try faux marbling it instead.

Carla Fox said...

Instead of the faux grass, how about those concrete driveway pavers that have a hole in the middle (x-shaped) and then planting luscious mosses in the center (like Irish or Scotch moss). They are lovely shades of green and thrive in moist conditions. Or just use stone pavers with borders of moss in a geometric pattern....lots of possibilities.

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

I saw that HGTV show and thought it was a great idea. Then, I started thinking about the dogs going to the bathroom on it, and even if I sprayed it off, wouldn't it leave an odor? I'm just not sure about the fake grass. Beautiful inspiration in these photos. laurie

Visual Vamp said...

Joni from Cote de Texas took the time write me a personal e-mail that I share with you. As ever she has excellent advice based on her personal experience:

"don't use fake grass! we took up our real grass and put down gravel instead with a plastic liner which collected the pee - it was horrible - remember there will be dirt under your fake grass, ugh. don't do it!!!! we had to have the liner all pulled out and thrown away. I think the fake grass will be like that. it was awful and so unnatural and the pee just collected on it - couldn't absorb into the earth.

use gravel. it's soosoo cheap and sooooo great looking.. and natural - the pee just disappears into the earth and you can scoop le poop.
trust me on this.

to get gravel- you just go to the gravel yard - pick out the rocks you want and they deliver it and pour it out. much cheaper. We've had our gravel for 10 years and have replenished it only once -

you don't want to get too much - you want it to be almost flat otherwise you sink into it.

btw - that pool house on the cover of Veranda is in Houston and my best friend is friends with the owners and goes there all the time. she says its the prettiest house in Houston."

Joni Webb
Webb Design