This large synthetic turf putting green for a project in Kentfield featured two distinct tiers and varied hole locations to create a visually interesting and challenging green.
One of the keys for creating a more interesting green is soften the edges with plantings and create a varied fringe area, so that the green is not just bordered by a uniform fringe.
We worked with Jim Bradanini and Associates for the design and placement of the green and 1st Impressions Greens for the installation.
There is a good article and overview in this month’s Sunset Magazine about synthetic turf and the pros and cons of the material versus natural lawn and other alternatives.
The author’s experience in a xeriscaped garden with synthetic turf reveals something that more and more people are realizing, synthetic turf has come a long way from Astroturf:
Then we went to a party at the house of a landscape designer who watered, she said, for only eight minutes a week, and did her own gardening, with no mowing. This was real xeriscaping: She had succulents, and drought-tolerant trees, and pink-flowering cactus, and
Mexican beach pebbles ― and two stunning green rectangles of perfect lawn in the back. “The grass,” another guest whispered to me. “It’s not real.”
“It’s not?” I asked. It looked gorgeously real.
“Touch it,” she said.
I did, and it was true: The grass was fake.
It wasn’t Astroturf, exactly, but long, smooth blades of grass that looked exactly like real grass but happened to be plastic. It had been laid down like a carpet, over prepared ground.
What we are seeing in the landscapes where we use synthetic turf is that it is a great hybrid material. It has the properties of both a hard and a soft surface, with the maintenance requirements more like a patio space that needs to be hosed down occasionally, with a feel and utility like a natural sod lawn. Yes there are trade offs with the material, but given the current water crisis in California synthetic turf makes more and more sense in a variety of applications.
We are just working on finishing up a couple of projects in San Rafael and Mill Valley that incorporate play friendly synthetic turf with play structures and basketball courts. The owners of both projects have small children and wanted to create a safe and low maintenance outdoor play space for their kids.
In Mill Valley we installed a synthetic lawn with a play structure surrounded by rubber mulch. The rubber mulch is one of the most absorbent materials for play structures, which worked well in the compact space of the play area and the play tower and slide and this project.
In San Rafael we installed a play grade synthetic turf with a premium mat backing for better fall absorption. The turf we used here was also denser and incorporated dead thatch yarn making it look much more realistic. We incorporated the lawn with a concrete patio and basketball court. The basketball court featured an adjustable hoop with tempered glass backboard that we installed.
Denser synthetic turf has more fibers, requiring less maintenance. Premium backing provides more cushioning and better feel.