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Blog by Patricia Houlihan - Personal Real Estate Corporation

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Vancouver waterfront and the green yard

Many waterfront homes have more trees, beach and decking than grass but there are also many with lovely lawns.  Some people envy their neighbours lovely backyards-green, perfectly cut grass….it is not something that I aspire to have due to the water, chemicals etc. often required to keep a yard that way. Well apparently there is a new trend afoot which may change my opinion of the green yard. This weekend’s Globe and Mail reported on the new wave of green yards-they may look perfect but only because they are perfectly unnatural.  The article explained the growing trend towards using artificial substitutes for real grass and plants-to achieve the green while being more environmentally friendly and lowering upkeep required.  Artificial turf, plants and hedges are slowly becoming de riguer!   I think this is great-although I am not sure I am quite ready for the plastic plants and grass-fortunately in Vancouver , I can leave my grass unwatered and chemical free and it still somehow seems to survive.  My Penticton house is another matter however.  When I bought it, the prior owner had just finished spending a fortune on laying real turf…which looked lovely for about the first month I had it-and then it was dead.  I just couldn’t do what all my neighbours did and pour litres of drinking water into the ground on a daily basis so that my lawn looked green.  I am sure my neighbours weren’t happy but I just couldn’t do it.  I also didn’t realize that, unlike Vancouver , in the desert the grass does not grow back when the weather cools….but even if I had known that I would not have watered. Last year I hired a fantastic gardener-I also did some research, as did she, into environmentally friendly gardens.  It was a bit expensive as I did none of the work myself, but I now have a yard full of indigenous plants that love the dry weather.  I have lovely flowers, some wild grasses, and of course a lot of stones….while I sometimes miss the green grass, I have a few evergreen trees for colour. Low maintenance and low enviro impact-you can’t beat that! So whether you choose the natural or the artificial there are definitely some good alternatives available.