During the recent drought and water restrictions in South-East Queensland many households shied away from the traditional lawn and chose to lay pavers. While pavers have their place – particularly in small, high-traffic areas nothing can beat a natural turf for larger spaces.
I was saddened to recently read the quote from Boyd Design landscape designer Boyd Oakes saying that the days of large expanses of lawn in the backyard are over. ‘Our lifestyles have changed too much,’ he says. ‘These days the kids are more likely to be inside on the computer with the parents working hard to pay for the house and the cars and everyone wants to come home and relax. We want to bring the outdoors in and the indoors out and the best way to do that is with pavers softened with plantings.’ That quote alone may be the exact reason we should install a natural lawn. A lawn should encourage children to get off the computer and get outside for exercise and fresh area disguised as play while also providing a place in which the entire family can relax and enjoy being together.
As with everything in life, there are benefits and disadvantages to both lawn and pavers. While pavers are lower maintenance (if laid correctly), can be used to channel water and are great for creating paths and functional outdoor surfaces for activities such as dining, the downside is that they can be more expensive than turf to buy and lay, pavers absorb the sun and reflect that heat back, and they need to be softened with plantings to look pleasing.
Yes, lawns do require some maintenance (watering, weeding and fertilising), can be difficult to grow in shaded areas and may not be as resistance to heavy foot traffic as pavers but, if you choose wisely these problems will not be a problem for you. You can lay a lawn such as Sir Walter soft leaf buffalo and then you will have a low-maintenance lawn. The Sir Walter is perfect for South-East Queensland being drought tolerance (but also easily handling heavy downpours), little or no weeds and works well in shaded areas too. A natural lawn is softer underfoot (perfect for kids to run around on), are permeable and absorb rainwater and runoff, are a lower initial cost for a large area and while ensure that your yard is a few degrees cooler on those hot summer days.
Here at Daley’s Turf we have seen an increase in the number of households pulling up pavers and reverting back to a natural lawn and with all the benefits we can understand why. If you have any questions regarding what would be best to install at your home contact the team at Daley’s Turf.