The multi-functional small urban garden
Unknotting a riverside garden
The Long, Thin, Lost Garden
An Urban Courtyard
Developing a Six-acre Garden
A New Border
Shade from surrounding buildings and trees and an unforgiving London clay soil made the lawn of this south London family garden a problem that no amount of care and re-turfing could solve. Patchy in the summer, an unusable quagmire in the winter, prevailing conditions pushed the owners to consider the unthinkable: Astroturf!
Artificial grass - to give it its proper name - has come a long way since the bouncy, derided sports surface of the 1980s....but in other peoples gardens, surely not ours? Oh yes! And three mud-free winters later, no regrets at all.
With a reshaped terrace and a new, smaller deck at the end of the garden a figure of eight shaped lawn on an angle allows for greater depth of planting on all sides and room for a play house in the bottom corner. Curved, rising and falling edging in oak, each upright individually cut to fit, give planting considerable protection from flying footballs and, crucially, break up a tight rectangular space.
Storage boxes were created behind two low benches to accommodate garden games and provide, at their front low lighting through glass blocks for evening kickabouts and garden entertaining.
"The best thing we ever did," the owners say, and sniggering friends and family have come round to the "astroturf" too, some to the extent of ordering their own.