To grass or not to grass: The case against artificial turf

I was rather surprised to see what looked like an outdoor hoover when visiting the house of a friend recently. “It is a hoover” she laughed when I asked what it was “to clean debris off the grass”. You see, she’d had that dreadful fake astroturf stuff installed and as it’s fake, things like leaves can’t simply rot down into it so it has to be hoovered, like a carpet. 

Overgrown tiny patch of grass
Weapon of choice: Strimmer

The longer I live in town, the more I despair at the overly sanitised way of life that seems to be taking over. Decking and patios sprawl over what little green is left, this carpet stuff is being poured over real green spaces (with none of the benefits of normal lawns that the RSPB highlight) and few gardens have real grass any more. That might, admittedly, be one of the reasons why we seem inundated with enormous terrifying spiders with big bottoms. Presumably ours is one of the few gardens in the area with any actual grass and so they’ve all decamped to our place. We used to have a patio, but it was very uncomfortable to sit on and I noticed that GarlicBoy used to be reluctant to crawl off our picnic blanket in the park and so wanted him to have some grass to play on so that he got used to it. But here’s the rub. My lawn area is tiny, so much so, that a lawnmower wouldn’t really fit on it, or be easy to store, but it is still way too large to cut with scissors alone. Given that the grass grows at an astounding rate (naively it never occurred to me that I would have to cut it every ten days), a solution had to be found. My solution? A strimmer. Yes, I still have to store it, but it’s quite compact and fits nicely into the playhouse, plus it doesn’t have any blades that inquisitive little hands could get hurt on. It doesn’t work around the edges so much to my country husband’s enduring amusement I still have to crawl around the perimeter cutting the grass there with scissors but that doesn’t take too long. Having to rake up the grass with a hand rake isn’t too bad either and it means I spend more time outside wrapped in that heavenly cut-grass smell. 

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that whilst I can see why some people might think that grass in their garden means mud in their house, isn’t that a small price to pay for a garden that helps local wildlife, and that reminds us all what something natural underneath our feet feels like? If you have a tiny garden, and you’re thinking of paving it over, please think again. A strimmer could be the answer to all of your worries!

Strimmed tiny patch of grass – it can be done!

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We farm a three acre smallholding in Hampshire, England, having fled London in pursuit of the good life for our little family. We mess about with an assorted menagerie and try to be as self-sufficient as possible in meat and fruit and vegetables whilst enjoying our plot and an outdoors lifestyle with our son. I am the luckiest person that I know.

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