Lawns have been popular among British homeowners for well over a century (read our blog on the history of lawns to learn how this happened). But the hectic pace of modern life can sometimes make it difficult to give one's lawn the care and attention it requires, and so a lot of people are now swapping the green, green grass of home for paving slabs and other hard landscaping materials that require relatively little upkeep.
Grass photo from Pixabay; paving photo from PrimaPorcelain.
If you're thinking of doing up your garden, you may be torn between the all-natural appeal of grass and the relative convenience of paving stones. To help you make up your mind, here are some pros and cons of both lawns and patios...
Grass - Pros and Cons
- PRO: Grass produces oxygen. Like all photosynthesising plants, grass takes in carbon dioxide (CO2) and produces oxygen. A healthy lawn measuring 50ft x 50ft can supposedly produce enough oxygen for a family of four.
- PRO: Grass is safer for kids to play on. If you have children who like to run around outdoors, it's far safer for them to do so on grass than on paving stones. Grass is nice and soft, so injuries are less likely than if your child were to trip and land on a hard surface.
- PRO: A well-kept lawn can boost the value of your property. Lawns have always been a status symbol, and a house with a lawn is generally worth more than a house without. Research by Post Office Money found that a nicely-landscaped garden can raise the value of a property by as much as 77% - and as we've previously discussed on this blog, a lawn is one of the garden features that's most likely to attract buyers.
- PRO: Grass feels great underfoot. Lush green grass doesn't just look great - it also feels great. One of life's purest pleasures is the feeling of walking barefoot on your lawn in the summertime.
- CON: Lawns need a lot of looking after. The one major drawback of owning a lawn is the upkeep that's required to keep it healthy. Removing weeds, applying fertiliser, keeping the grass cut, aerating the soil to improve drainage, adding new seed every few years...these little jobs can really add up, and if you don't enjoy looking after your garden, this might be enough to put you off lawns entirely. (Of course, you could always hire a lawn care company to do the work for you!)
Paving - Pros and Cons
- PRO: Paving is low maintenance. Swapping your lawn for a patio eliminates the need for all those jobs we mentioned above: mowing, aeration, overseeding, and so on. (You may still see the odd weed growing in the gaps between your paving stones, though.)
- PRO: Paving slabs come in lots of different styles. Grass is grass - it's green, it's timeless, but it will only ever look like grass. If you're keen to flex your landscaping muscles and put a lot of effort into designing your garden, then paving is a good choice because it comes in loads of different colours and styles. There are lots of different materials to choose from (e.g. sandstone, granite, porcelain), and these days, you can even find paving slabs that emulate the appearance of hardwood flooring or colourful mosaics.
- CON: Paving still needs some regular maintenance. Even the most hard-wearing patio tiles require a certain amount of upkeep. Stone pavers tend to be quite absorbent, so it's necessary to seal them every so often to prevent moisture damage. You will also need to power-wash your patio occasionally to keep it nice and clean.
- CON: Paving is less family-friendly than grass. As noted above, a grassy lawn is perfect for children (and adults!) who use the garden for sport, play and exercise. If you fall over on a paved surface, your body is likely to sustain more damage than if you'd fallen on grass. So bear this in mind when you're trying to choose between grass and paving!
If you are thinking of replacing your patio with a lovely lawn, the team here at Lawn & Weed Expert can help. We offer a professional turfing service that will leave your garden looking green and gorgeous - give us a call on 0800 111 4958 and we can arrange a day to come and lay your new lawn.
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