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Fake news - Welcome life and get some soul into your garden

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!

The Great Crested Newt is protected here in the UK and you need a license to handle them. They need a damp place in which to hide away and a pond makes the ideal setting.

A pond can bring so much interest and even a tiny pond will be colonised remarkably quickly by wildlife.

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.

Got ants in your larder? They might need to be re-located outdoors, but try not to banish every living creature as they are all important members of the food chain.

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.

Weeds can easily be controlled by hand rather than spray.

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. Fill your garden with plants; pebbles; rocks; mulch; woodpiles and other interesting places in which insects and wildlife can take cover.  A hummingbird hawkmoth is an occasional visitor to UK gardens, and what a spectacle! This moth looks very much like a little humming bird and it loves to gather nectar from flowers.

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.

Fake grass. Why would you choose this sterile environment if you didn't have a specific health or mobility need? 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.

Grass which is allowed to include a few weeds and flowers makes a far more bio-diverse setting than a grass monoculture, or, indeed, plastic.


The benefits of a fake lawn

Of 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.

Lawns make a backdrop for planting, furniture and seating in a garden and the colour green is very soothing.

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.

Working long hours indoors can cause people to lose touch with the natural world. 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.  

By Perfect Plants


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