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Of all the elements available in the landscape designers toolkit, an open expanse of lawn can have the biggest impact on a property.   A well designed lawn area will make your space ‘read’ and ‘feel’ bigger than an area closed in with trees and shrubs.  It’s also hard to beat the look and feel underfoot of a well-manicured swathe of fescue and browntop. 

 

To achieve the look, there’s a few approaches you can take.  The traditional hand seed approach is a great low cost way to establish your lawn.  Recent times have seen the introduction of ‘hydro seeding’ or ‘spray on lawn’ as it is often referred to, which will increase the success rate of your initial seed strike. Rollout turf is the option for you if you want an instant transformation, and

 

the only option when the ground temperature is still low in winter and won’t support seed germination.

 

In a contemporary landscape design, an option worth considering is one of the many artificial grass products on the market.  The obvious benefit is its ease of care and its consistent bright green appearance all year round.   The look is realistic, especially when viewed from a distance and the feel is surprisingly soft.   Its versatility of application means it can also be used a decorative finish on a vertical surface.

 

My sentimental favourite from all the lawn options is the ‘No Mow’ Lawn.  The point of difference here is the lawn is created with a mixture of low, spreading groundcovers to achieve a more naturalistic cover that will only need a six monthly or annual cut.  New Zealand native Muehlenbeckia, Selliera and Leptinella species are among selected specimen that will form a ‘No Mow’ lawn that performs well depending on the site conditions and the degree of foot traffic that can be expected.

 

A solid edging will make it easier to keep a crisp clean look.  Ground-treated timber is a cost effective approach, but you can also explore other options like a border of the paving material in your courtyard to formalise and integrate the overall look.

 

 

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2013 FORM garden architecture ltd | Craig Wilson | Registered Landscape Architect | Christchurch | Website by Studio Blue NZ

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Craig Wilson, FORM Garden Architecture