Anna Legal had a synthetic lawn installed last spring

Anna Legal had a synthetic lawn installed last spring

Grass is never greener on the other side for synthetic lawn owners

Their lawn is going to be green all year round, even if we have a summer as bone dry as 2015

Anna and Denis Legal weren’t the least bit worried about their lawn when Ladysmith, and surrounding municipal and regional governments announced we will be going into stage one water restrictions May 1.

And they laugh when they hear neighbours firing up noisy, smelly lawn mowers.

Their lawn is going to be green all year round, even if we have a summer as bone dry as 2015; and they won’t have to mow for the rest of their lives, because their grass won’t grow an inch.

They got tired of the restrictions and hassles of a natural lawn and went synthetic last spring. As far as Anna is concerned it was “the best thing we ever did.”

Not the cheapest, though. Anna and Denis prepped their yard by removing the natural turf, which she figures cost them about $3,000 to have put down 10 years ago. They also installed the under padding the synthetic grass sits on.

That advance work saved them about $10,000, but buying the synthetic lawn and having it installed still came in at $20,000 for their smallish property.

“It’s a shocker,” Anna agreed.

She also downplayed the notion that a synthetic lawn is maintenance-free. “To say it’s maintenance-free, it’s not true. You don’t have any mowing, you don’t have any edging, you don’t have any watering…” but leaves do fall off the surrounding trees and shrubs, and they have to be vacuumed away.

“You could leave it, but it wouldn’t look very nice,” Anna admitted.

None of that comes even close to making the Legals think twice about their decision to go synthetic. “It’s a little expensive, but in the long run I would never change back,” Anna said.

The idea of watching her grass dry up and turn brown during the summer droughts, which seem to be getting longer and more severe, is unthinkable. “We got tired of the restrictions,” she said. “We couldn’t let our lawn go dry.”

In fact, they have ensured none of the flora in their yard is ever going to go dry. Their entire yard is micro-irrigated, which means when other people are watering odd and even days, or no days at all, the Legals can still turn on the taps and irrigate their yard for the 20 minutes it takes to quench the plants’ thirst.

“There’s not a pot, there’s not an inch of this yard that isn’t micro-watered.” Anna said… except the lawn of course.

How much does Anna love her garden? When people tell her she should go travelling to places like Mexico or the Bahamas, she says there’s no place she would rather be than her garden. “We put everything in it so we don’t have to go travelling. This is my own Butchart Gardens. I have my own paradise. It’s a piece of heaven.”

There is one other small drawback to a synthetic lawn. People, frustrated with water restrictions themselves, and ever on the lookout for scofflaws, sometimes figure the Legals aren’t legit when it comes to rationing water.

“Last summer, when we had the restrictions, I actually had a couple of people giving me the finger,” she said.

I’m not certain, but she may have been saying that with just a hint of a smile.