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The trend for fake grass shows no sign of abating, indeed we seem to be in love with artificial lawns rather than the biodiveristy this product replaces.
One of the best things about having a garden revolves around wildlife and living things. Have you noticed, for instance, how quickly natural organisms attract other life? In other words, nature attracts nature. You only have to include a simple bowl of water in your garden for it to become colonised with interesting life. Insects, birds, plants, reptiles, amphibians, small mammals, molluscs and more will visit, and some of them will appear within five minutes. How interesting is that, once you stop to look!
Paving over the cracks
It's all very well having garden paving, and indeed in the British climate it is essential if you don't want to live permanently in wellies. But the cracks between paving are where things happen for wildlife. Ants might be a bit of a nuisance when they discover your honey jar in the larder, but out in the garden they are fodder for all sorts of welcome creatures.
How to tackle weeds
We all hate to see unwanted weeds growing in those cracks, but before grabbing the weed killer consider what other organisms might be affected by a casual spray. Far better to pull out those weeds by hand and let living things lie.
Fill up your garden with wildlife-friendly features!Neatness in a garden is the enemy of wildlife. Bare soil, although not devoid in terms of natural organisms, can be so much better for living creatures if there's a bit of cover. Plants, leaf mould and mulch all give much-needed homes for wildlife, and they help to cut down the gardener's workload too. A scattering of rocks and pebbles, an informal wood pile and a compost heat can provide wonderful havens for creatures too, at no cost at all to the garden-owner.
Fake lawns, why have one?
Which brings us on to artificial grass. Figures offered by one supplier suggest that sales of these lawns have been rising by 220 per cent every year. The growing trend to use such a flawless and vibrant green carpet is disastrous for flora and fauna. It represents a huge loss of wildlife and habitat across Britain.
Let's look at the negative impact of fake grass:
- Loss of wildlife habitat. The resulting, sterile surface has no benefits to butterflies, bees, birds, mammals or any other life, i.e. loss of biodiversity.
- The carbon footprint during manufacture of a fake lawn is significant.
- Many of the products used during creation are non-biodegradable, meaning the covering will eventually end up in landfill sites.
- The surface on which the artificial covering is laid can contribute towards flooding if drainage porosity has not been considered.
- No scent!
- The appearance doesn't change with the seasons, therefore it's less interesting.
The benefits of a fake lawnOf course there are many benefits to be found in artificial grass, particularly for those who have health or time constraints. Here's a few of the most obvious:
- Ease of maintenance.
- No need to store a lawnmower or edging tools in your shed.
- Fewer muddy paws or boots coming into the house.
- Reliable green appearance.
- Can be highly practical for elderly people or those who have a disability and need a level, accessible lawn.
A balancing act
Whilst there are obvious advantages for a relatively small number of people, the attractions seem so great that many people find they are unable to resist. It's all about work-life balance. As people work longer and harder they tend to lose touch with the natural world and the pleasures it imparts.
Love fake grass? Perhaps you need to move to the fake town of Stepford, Connecticut, where all things aren't quite what they seem. Perfect Plants does not sell artificial grass! The company is an on-line supplier of garden plants and house plants. Also garden equipment, furniture and gifts. www.perfectplants.co.uk