Explore alternative garden surfaces
Garden decking has fallen out of favour, but artificial grass could offer an attractive, low maintenance alternative.
Over the past decade or so, wooden decking boomed in popularity, with many homeowners choosing it for their garden. It’s easy to see why it is often the material of choice – it’s practical and fairly low maintenance and, unlike a lawn, doesn’t get muddy during wet weather.
However it has become overused and swathes of gardens have been lost to the wooden constructions. So much so that Ground Force’s Alan Titchmarsh has recommended that homeowners ditch the decking and explore alternative surfaces.
As well as becoming somewhat of a cliché, decking can also pose a number of practical problems. Wooden decking is an environmental hazard, providing the perfect home for mice and rats. Experts also believe that an overuse of decking and lack of vegetation can have a dramatic impact on the butterfly population and other insects.
Decking is also not always as durable as you might think. If it is installed in a corner of the garden that does not get much sunlight, it can become damp, mossy and dangerously slippery. What’s more, the use of cheaper woods can cause your decking to bend and bow.
So, if decking has fallen out of fashion, what are the alternatives?
Stone paving is a great alternative to decking. Like wooden decking, stone paving can provide you with a practical area for dining and entertaining, but is much more hardwearing. Materials such as slate or limestone offer a cool, contemporary look, or add interest with patterned brickwork.
Gravel can be a great choice for a garden surface. It is easy to install and very low maintenance, and it adds an interesting texture to your garden. However it does have some drawbacks. The neighbourhood cats could mistake it for one large litter tray, and small children have been known to fling handfuls of gravel at each other!
Spending time in green spaces has proven benefits to our wellbeing so it makes sense to replace the decking with a grass lawn which will add colour, softness and a natural look to your garden. However, keeping a natural lawn in top condition requires a lot of time and effort. If this is too high maintenance for you, why not try artificial grass instead? These days they look and feel just as good as the real thing, and are incredibly low maintenance – all they need is an occasional brush to keep them looking at their best. And if you don’t like the idea of having a garden with no natural greenery, you can always add potted plants and flower beds to create a natural feel and encourage local wildlife.
Our artificial lawns come in a huge variety of shades, styles and heights. With over ten years’ experience as artificial grass installers across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire; our experts can advise you on the best options for your garden.