Synthetic Lawn

plastic grass

note: the garden above has works still ongoing at this moment and also whilst the surface was being laid.

Grass n 1 a very common green plant with jointed stems and long narrow leaves, eaten by animals such as sheep and cows, and used for lawns and sports fields

Lawn n an area of cultivated and mown grass

Synthetic adj 1 (of substance or material) made artificially by chemical reaction 2 not sincere or genuine n 3 a synthetic substance or material

source: Collins Dictionary Paperback fourth edition 1999

I’ll be dead honest with you and say that I was very dubious about even touching this product, never mind posting it here, complete with a personally hand written note that it has been installed into a garden with my name firmly stuck to the tail end of it.

synthetic lawn (5)

As a horticulturist, I guess it’s the Irish equivalent of standing up mid way through Sunday Mass and announcing from the pulpit that I don’t like the Angelus and I feckin’ hate spuds. I’m sure there’s a far better ‘it’s a bit like…’ but, you get what I’m saying and somehow it still feels not entirely right to me.

The reality is though, as sure as there is a market for The Rolling Stones and the Woodstock lovers, there is equally a market for the Jedward and Justin Biebers of this world. All of that to one side and irrespective of whether you agree or not, this is not your or my space and hand on heart, tough as it may be for me to admit it, in this garden, the plastic grass synthetic lawn works.

synthetic grass preparation

If you’ve never seen it done before, the preparations to laying the surface are a lot like laying carpet on an area that has been prepared for paving. And very simply, areas marked out, I put down a hardcore to a depth of 5″ on top of which then went a sand/ grit upon which the schaden lawn is then laid.

Of note to you who may wish to take this task on yourself, the area above is just over 50 square metres and believe me, that is a fair amount of soil to take out and hardcore back in to fill the newly created void. In short, it took about 6 tonne of stone, excluding the grit; and for the intelligenté amongst you that also means around 5- 6 tonne of soil out. Nota Bene: Should you be a calculating civil engineer, I changed the finish levels 😉 Also I had a mini digger on site, smart boy that I am.

laying synthetic grass

I chatted this amongst mates and if like them you are maybe trying to rationalise it, still; think of it like a big green [yet far softer] patio. In that, you can see why there are pro’s and cons to using it as a surface and that in mind, you can also see why aesthetically one wouldn’t do an entire garden in it.

plastic grass laying

To this garden, I’ll have real grass come to meet the edges of the fake and so long as the lawnmower height is set rightly, they should work absolutely fine side by side. Far more important than that and as my name is attached to it, this garden will look damn ruddy good looking when it is complete.

When the rest of the garden settles itself in, I’ll post a pic here for you to browse over, for now…. it’s over to you.

Q’s or thoughts [?] leave a comment below or drop me a line.

Peter Donegan:

donegan landscaping

7 replies
  1. peter donegan
    peter donegan says:

    Hiya Triona,

    I guess there’s two ways to look at it. warning* I may vere entirely off the point here… but whats new there says you… ;

    On one hand there’s as much hardcore, grit and fake lawn to be removed as went in ~ about 6/ 7 tonne in total; and by machine or hand including reinstating the [future tense] new soft/ traditional landscaping [is that what you meant ?] it will cost a few bob/ take a bit of manual time undoing and remaking/ may not be that easy depending which option you take ~ on the other hand I guess [the bit you didn’t ask…] there is a little of put a dollar sign over the column with the title ‘spending time breaking your barney giggling with your nippers for no apparent reason in the rain, or sunshine’, for which that is worth at least a trizillion bizillion invisible dollars 😉

    It’s a funny and wonderful thing Triona to see, witness and actually create a families space outside and re-create it again as they grow up together. In my head I’ve just gone back and double underlined wonderful. I guess there’s a great big whopping case for living for the now and we’ll cross the future bit when we get there… in that context [and back to your Q] some may say thats not a bad way to be.

    But then your talking to a fairly new Dad who told his daughter a bed time story last week about a dog who because he has no fingers [he has paws] bought some yellow [marigold type] kitchen gloves, inflated them, tied them to his hands with ribbons, thought himself how to play guitar and then joined a Led Zeppelin tribute band.

    Speaking of which how’s your individually named plant collection ? 😉
    In hindsight I could’ve answered that with one line…


  2. Tríona
    Tríona says:

    My individually named plant collection is doing well. Too Well. Most have moved into bigger pots which will be fun for moving house when the lease is up. And I’m trying to take cuttings from Noam Chompy to propagate baby venus flytraps from

  3. Tríona
    Tríona says:

    Nah, himself did, it’s his flytrap after all. Sadly Noam Chompy doesnt have great linguistic skills for all his mouths

  4. Grainne
    Grainne says:

    Looks like a great substitute for those horrible rubber mats you are meant to put around play areas. How is it for drainage?

  5. Peter Donegan
    Peter Donegan says:

    Hi Grainne,

    Surprisingly, it is it’s a pretty good alternate to the rubber matting; that said it does comes with a very different make up. And with that comes a little understanding of what you need it for [I speak very generally here]. I used the prepartion photographs for good reason so that others and you can see what goes beneath; but and because the layer between the hardcore and the grass itself is quite soft ie. very small granules if you will, it does make it quite cosy to walk on. With that also comes the ability for it to relatively easily free drain. Think similar preparations to paving but without the hard [and non perforated] surface covering on top. That aside and within the context of the overall garden and in this case, it does look good.

    I hope that answers your Q. chat soon,

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