For almost eighteen years we've lived in a house that I thought had no yard.
Our family including two sons and a dog named Boss live close to the beach which is awesome but it means the land size is small. Think postage stamp and you'd be close. As our house is set back from the street, we have a front garden and no back yard, just a paved courtyard with clothesline. This was fine until the kids (and dog) came along, and I've been yearning for a yard ever since. Just somewhere they could kick a ball around would be wonderful.
Even before the house, it's our front garden that you see as you enter through our front gate. Your eyes fall on a cobblestone stencilled concrete driveway (bit daggy) with off street parking space and single garage. An unruly Murraya hedge demands your attention next and there's a small front porch. Finally your eyes find a small lawn area with a couple of mature palm trees which now resemble poles reaching to the sky.
We'd had a lot of problem growing turf as our house faces west and there was always a section that got too much shade. The other section was always thirsty after the western sun had scorched it and I'd spend each afternoon soaking it with water. The lawn would die off in patches and every Spring, I'd watch as the kids and dog did the bindi-eye dance as a plethora of spiky weeds overtook what was left of the sorry turf. Out would come the toxic pesticides that I knew couldn't be good for us.
I used to dream of a luscious, green front yard. Something that we could all enjoy and not be embarrassed about, we were certainly not creating the best first impression of our home.
Can you believe how excited I was when I came across a website that told me I could have a lush, environmentally friendly, non toxic, no bindi, waterless lawn? The website went on to explain that all my problems could be fixed quickly and easily and what's more, permanently.
We are talking synthetic turf - not the flat old type you may see in some schools but a realistic looking, cushion soft one that is made to replicate different varieties of turf. We wouldn't need to mow the lawn ever again, the boys would have an instant soccer and cricket pitch, just like the professional ones and we'll have year-round green lawn.
Grassman came to my rescue. http://www.grassmanufacturers.com.au
I sent an email enquiry and promptly received calls from three landscapers keen to quote on my job. I decided on one and it took just a day and a half to transform the space.
The old grass was removed and the area excavated down about 100mm and levelled then a screed was laid and edge board installed. The 40mm high pile artificial turf was unrolled like a grand carpet, laid and fixed to the boards. A tonne of silky fine sand was sprinkled over it and finally a giant rotating brush groomed and lifted the leaves of the turf.
I couldn't wait to step onto it. You should have felt how soft it was under my bare feet! I could help but do a little dance, much to the amusement of the landscaper.
I now have a massive (well big) front yard. Gone is the patchy old space, it looks so much bigger than before.
The best thing about my new lawn is that every morning before school and each night after dinner, the kids are out there kicking a ball and wrestling each other on the soft surface. And Boss the dog, well he loves it! He's found each day stretched out and sunbaking on our new Grassman lawn. It even comes with a seven year warranty, I couldn't be happier.
I think this simple garden makeover has added thousands of dollars in value but the hidden value is in the kids spending more time outside and I'm proud instead of embarrassed when guests arrive.