Turf War

Me with friends celebrating and testing the freshly installed turf.

 Image from this morning, after the rain.

I have been waging my own personal turf war for over 25 years, the amount of time I have lived at my home in Oklahoma City. I have shown the 'before' picture of my front yard on other occasions in this blog...calling attention to its transformation over time. Much has changed, okay,  MUCH has changed, but one thing about my front landscape has remained constant over the years.

It RESOLUTELY did not, does not, and I am finally convinced,WILL NOT, ever willingly grow grass in its shady, earth-compacted, south-facing environ. 

And BOY do I now know it.....because I have 25+ years experience watering, seeding, reseeding, sodding, soil-testing, aerating, mowing, edging, feeding, treating, sweating, toiling and fretting...all in an attempt to have a nice, decent lawn throughout the year. With great effort and expense, I have managed to have a beautiful lawn about 8 months of the year. But as soon as the spring heat, moisture and dew points reach critical levels, the turf begins to slowly, agonizingly....then quite quickly, fade, and eventually die...from heat, fungus, drought...pick your poison.  I have witnesses who will attest to my trying virtually every type of turf on the planet.

After over seeding with fescue two years ago above, and with new turf, below.

So finally, after five years of considering, researching and hand-wringing, I finally took the Eco-smart (I am now thoroughly convinced) route, biting the bullet, writing the big check, and installing fake grass.

Okay,  FAKE GRASS! I make no attempt to disguise it. (I will even be doing a 4 YOUR GARDEN segment today at 4:30 on NewsChannel 4 with LC to discuss it.) An admittedly risky decision (financially and professionally) to make.

While I was unbelievably frustrated and upset over my inability to grow lawn in a space where it decidedly didn't want to grow (and took out a great bit of turf area in the process to accommodate its irascibility (watch this video here as a testament to this)...

New Turf on west side...

I am, after all, a nature girl, garden designer, absolutist on many garden issues, and generally :) a proponent of authenticity in all areas of life. But I am also something of a control freak and perfectionist, and can't stand the pain of seeing such lushness self destruct each year. (I also firmly believe that if your lawn looks like s***, it doesn't matter how great the beds look...it ruins the whole tableau of beauty one tries to create.)

Despite all of these reservations and concerns (not least amongst them, the expense) there were two distinct tipping points that made me finally, flip the switch and install synthetic turf.  On NBC nightly news, I heard the story about Porterville, CA actually running out of water. A whole town, reliant on outside sources and good hearts to provide a basic life necessity. That could be us!

No more watering the front lawn for this girl!

And secondly, I realized I was chasing my tail, and I just didn't want to be a slave to the banality of just trying to grow grass any longer. My garden, yes. My flowers and veggies, yes....but GRASS?
When there was a completely realistic-looking, eco-smart, liberating solution out there to solve my problem? 

Well, let's just say...my mama didn't raise no dummy.

 Now I will enjoy this kind of verdant green all summer long!

So there you have it. My rationale for taking the plunge. The specifics of installation, product selection, care, considerations, FAQ's and my own special touches to increase the realism quotient will be in my next post, and discussed this afternoon with LC on 4 YOUR GARDEN.

Close-ups below:  Which is real; which is Memorex?

Oh, and one more thing. 

Why did I wait so long!!!

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