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Vancouver waterfront and the green yard

Blog by Patricia Houlihan - Personal Real Estate Corporation | May 4th, 2007

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.