You may not have given artificial grass lawns that much thought before now, but it seems that its popularity is soaring as householders are increasingly thinking the grass would be greener if it wasn’t real.
And they could be right. After all, you never have to get the mower out, no maintenance is needed and many of these lawns can stay in tip-top condition for as long as five years.
There are other advantages, too, some of which you may not have thought about. For families with pets, for example, while dog’s urine can damage a real lawn, synthetic grass can handle it. And if there are young children around, this surface makes a very soft landing area from climbing frames and the like.
Equally, children won’t get dirty or trail mud through the house, and can play on the turf all year round.
Especially if a garden is north facing and so doesn’t get too much sunlight, real grass can have a dull appearance or become a permanent mud-bath. So investing a fake lawn as one option if you’re faced with this situation.
After all, while the initial outlay can seem a lot, this has to be compared with the cost of constantly having to replace your real lawn each time it becomes a mud slick.
It’s not just domestic properties that are catching on to the benefits. In recent years, Chelsea Flower Show used artificial grass for the first time, while Manchester United and Chelsea played on a partially synthetic surface at Wembley, the first football teams to do so.
And this autumn, artificial green turf was even trialled in a very quintessentially English setting – a Cotswolds village green in picture-postcard pretty Bourton-on-the-Water. Parish councillors voted unanimously in favour of the idea, having got fed up of forking out £1,000 a year to repair areas of green churned up by the thousands of tourists who flock to the area annually.
So it’s perhaps not surprising that the popularity of fake lawns has soared in recent years, with at least one artificial grass supplier and one major DIY chain reporting booming sales. And that may well have been fuelled by recent summers of extended dry spells and hosepipe bans.
The DIY chain said it sold the equivalent of five football pitches in 2010, the same year it began stocking the product.
Evergreens is the UK's biggest supplier of artificial grass to both trade and the public. Understand the benefits of a synthetic turf next time you show someone round a property.