The grass is always greener

Maintaining a manicured lawn in a garden by the sea can often prove difficult.  The salt spray and variable weather conditions mean that it’s a constant battle to have the grass always looking green.

One house owner in South Sound, however, has beaten the elements by laying grass that is completely artificial but looks fabulous all year round.

It’s always green, appears to be freshly mown and requires next-to-no maintenance – all it needs is for the leaves to be blown and a periodic grooming.

“Artificial turf has been around many years, but as of late it really has come a long way in terms of its appearance, feel and longevity,” says Tom Balon of Vigoro Nursery, who created the garden.

All the real grass was removed in early 2014 and replaced by the artificial turf, which has proved just to the owner’s liking.

One of the greatest advantages is how much it saves on water bills compared to the needs for an actual grass lawn.


“With the price of water here, plus maintenance of the real grass, it is easy to still maintain that ‘green’ feel, but cut out all the costs,” Tom points out.

The turf is typically made from nylon, poly-compounds and rubber components, so in addition to the fact that is requires no watering or mowing, it needs no fertilizer or pesticides and is in tip-top condition whatever the weather.

“It looks great from sunny to shady areas, wet to dry, etc…and we are doing a very realistic turf less expensively now than most companies even in the U.S.” says Tom.

Plants & Trees 


The garden is spread over about half an acre and, while the lawn and some areas have a manicured style, other pockets of foliage have more of a tropical feel.

Being right on the beachfront, it was important to have species that are suited to seaside conditions.

“They were all chosen for durability, with lots of color, texture and salt-tolerance,” explains Tom.

“The trees are of assorted feel and foliage. The palms and native trees were placed for look and privacy.”

Plants in the garden include lilies, various grasses, gardenia, cassia, Acalyphas, henna, croton, bougainvillea, arboricola, cocoplum and Alocasias.

There are also coconut, thatch, queen, Alexander and royal palms dotted around, while the owners will be able to enjoy the fruits of mango, guava, lime, pomegranate and sea grape trees throughout the year.


Other features of the garden include a pool, rocks, hammocks and, of course, the beach itself.

However, with Mother Nature controlling the tidal forces along South Sound, the amount of sand can vary from time to time.

“I always say if you want to live by the sea you have to live by the sea – it will come in high at times and low at others,” says Tom. “And not just the tide, although we had some of the highest tides on record in 2014, but the beach can come and go with storm action as well.

“I usually advise to let Mother Nature take care of the coastline. She will do as she pleases.”