During the long days of strict lockdown when I had spare time aplenty despite the homeschooling, mowing the lawn and weeding the new borders were a welcome distraction and my garden looked great.
Now restrictions have eased and although thankfully life is not as busy as pre-COVID my days do seem to be filling up. Cutting the grass has gone from being a twice weekly stroll round the garden with my mower in glorious sunshine to a "when I can fit it in" chore in between gales and epic rain storms.
The newly seeded front lawn is the worst. I don't know what was in that seed mix but that grass grows like mad. I mean even overgrown it looks better than the weedy patch which was fronting my home previously.
I'm beginning to think I would have been better investing in some good quality artificial turf which would have looked good with very little attention all year round. No weeds, a nice even finish and best of all, no mowing.
My mum has some in her garden in Cyprus where grass often struggles to grow without almost constant watering - such a waste of water especially in a country which suffers water shortages. I was a little unsure about the idea until I saw it but it looks so natural and makes this particular area of her garden where plants don't grow so well attractive and useful (it's a great sunbathing spot!)
Actually that's another reason I've considered using artificial turf. Under my beautiful wooden gazebo crafted by my clever husband grass just won't grow.
We have laid down some paving slabs for now but I think a good quality artificial grass would look much nicer there. It would create a smooth transition from lawn to the seating area under the gazebo and probably feel nicer underfoot too.
It's not just artificial turf that can help make a garden beautiful (and easy to care for.)
We have an ugly heating oil tank, no longer needed but expensive and tricky to remove. We've disguised it with extending wooden lattice panels which have artificial leaves attached. They won't last forever but are a quick fix while we grow climbing plants over it.
And one of my friends who has a real eye for interior and garden design has used artificial plants to soften a new pergola and indoors to give a summer vibe to her dining room. This is particularly nice when travelling overseas is so difficult at the moment. Add med-inspired food and a taverna-style playlist and you can bring the relaxed atmosphere of your fave resort to your own home.
My daughter has a mix of real and artificial succulents in her bedroom. I think I prefer the artificial ones as I don't need to worry about under or over watering them.
Mixing natural and artificial is a great way of creating a relaxing environment which looks good all year round and for creating instant "done" or for creating a natural look indoors and out where "real" plants refuse to thrive.