Having a well-manicured lush lawn in your compound enhances your home’s appearance. It makes your property pleasing to the eye, and turns your compound into a comfortable place to play, unwind and relax.

However, growing grass can be a taxing undertaking as it requires a lot of dedication in terms of time and financial investment.

Isaack Ngunjiri, a landscape artist at Floor Décor Kenya Limited, roots for artificial grass, which, he argues, looks better and requires less effort in terms of maintenance.

“If you’re interested in creating a home with a great curb appeal while at the same time conserving water and saving money, then synthetic lawns are exactly what you require,” says the Nakuru-based landscaper. His company, which specialises in selling synthetic grass, has branches in Nakuru, Eldoret, Kisumu and Nairobi.

He explains that the artificial grass comes in seven shades of green and is so natural-looking, that it is almost impossible to tell it apart from real grass.

Ngunjiri  has been selling artificial grass since 2011. Most of his clients are people residing in urban areas.

“We mostly install the lawn in compounds that had been initially paved with concrete or cabro blocks,” says the landscaper. He nevertheless points out that he has had to install artificial grass on bare land for homeowners who had grown weary of tending to a natural lawn. “Once installed, artificial lawns require little maintenance as opposed to natural grass,” he adds.

To begin with, synthetic grass does not require any watering. Many home-owners burdened by increased water bills usually neglect their lawns, and as a result, they dry up and become variegated and unsightly.

Currently, many parts of the country are facing acute water shortage due to the prolonged drought. This, Mr Ngunjiri suggests, should motivate homeowners to replace their lawns with artificial ones.  “With synthetic, the grass is actually green all year long,” he says and points out, “During rainy season, you don’t need to worry about employing a gardener to do the mowing as the synthetic grass  doesn’t require pulling out weeds and trimming unruly edges every fortnight or so.”

VERSATILE GRASS

“Though our lawns come with a 10-year guarantee, they are actually capable of retaining their strength and luster for over 50 years. Users don’t need to worry about the lawn becoming worn out or trodden as it is durable and can withstand children playing, pet scratches and heavy traffic such as garden parties, barbecues, and other social functions,” Mr Ngunjiri affirms.

A major concern among buyers is that the plastic lawn might retain water and easily become flooded especially after heavy rains. However, Ngunjiri says the fears are unfounded, stating that the artificial grass is permeable. He  singles out rows of holes underneath the grass that allows water to flow through, hence eliminating the problem of water-logging. “When it comes to artificial grass, you don’t need to worry about puddles of water collecting and then leaving patches of mud around your compound,” he notes. The grass, which can be cleaned by vacuuming or hosing, comes with soft-foam padding underneath to cushion children from injuries when they fall on the ground during play.

Ngunjiri says that ‘imitation grass is “actually greener than natural grass”. He adds that it eliminates the use of pesticides, weed killers and other chemicals that are often employed to grow and protect lawns but are harmful to the environment.

Artificial grass can be used to compliment other forms of paving outdoors. “You can separate quadrants of concrete by passing strips of grass between them to create picturesque riffs. It is especially scenic on rooftops and balconies as it makes them colourful and livable. Around the swimming pool, the grass brings out an ingenious look that makes the pool seem like a natural occurring pond,” he explains.

Who says you can’t have grass inside your house? Eunice Wanjiku, a Nairobi-based interior designer poses. She says that synthetic grass brings with it a versatility that has seen it replace traditional carpeting indoors on floors and stairs.

Business premises and homes are increasingly fitting synthetic grass on their walls and ceilings to turn them into focal points for attraction.

Interior designers, she says, love toying around with plastic grass because of its natural, calming and relaxing look.

“Installing artificial grass in children’s bedrooms,” the interior designer says, “creates fun spaces that enable children to get a feel of playing outdoors if they cannot go outside to play.”

Do you work in a high-pressure and stressful environment? Wanjiku is of the opinion that installing artificial grass may be beneficial to your staff. “Green colour is said to have the ability to improve working energy and can help to provide a stress-free area for employees,” she adds.