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Would you have a fake lawn? Top gardeners on the pros and cons of artificial grass

A garden paid with fake grass featuring a decking area with seating, surrounded by hydrangea
Regarded as ‘horrendous’ by many gardeners, artificial lawns are undeniably big business. Jessica Salter examines the arguments made by experts on both sides of the fence Credit:  Marianne Majerus

If you look out at your ­garden and see a scorched patch of balding turf devoid of “deep green colour and velvet texture… the pride of our island”, as the 19th-century Scottish botanist John Claudius Loudon described the British lawn, then the idea of artificial grass might have ­occurred to you.

But you’d have to be brave to admit it. There has been fierce opposition from many in the gardening world to the thought of fake grass. As Guy ­Barter, chief horticulturist at the RHS, summarises, artificial grass is “not as pleasant to sit or play on” as real turf, it can get “slimy, mossy and weedy”, and “there is no wildlife benefit”. Jamie Butterworth, an RHS ambassador who trained at RHS Wisley...

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