Our Gardening expert, Charlie Albone, explains the pros and cons of using hard or soft surfaces for landscaping.
Concrete versus Grass - which one to choose? While concrete isn't very attractive, it is practical. Grass can look better but is high maintenance. And herein lies the dilemma.
At the end of the day, the kind of exterior surfaces you choose for your property will come down to the style of your house and the kind of look you’re trying to achieve.
Concrete is hard wearing, but you still have to keep it clean - otherwise it can start to get tatty and stained.
A more attractive alternative are concrete pavers – or better still natural stone pavers.
The great thing about these is that if one breaks you can replace it. Although if you lay them properly this shouldn’t happen.
Both concrete and stone pavers should be covered with a sealer every year to minimize staining.
Believe it or not decking is classed as a hard area. And while it looks fantastic it also needs a finish re-applying yearly.
Any rotting wood has to be replaced which can be messy and expensive.
For areas like driveways deco-granite, also known as crushed granite, is great stuff. Its like a hard surface but allows water to filter through.
It comes in brown, gold and pink and is really versatile, but you may need to top it up every couple of years as it settles a bit.
When it comes to soft surfaces it’s hard to go past grass. One of Australia’s most hard wearing and versatile grasses is the good old buffalo.
Turf needs year round attention – aerating, fertilizer, edge trimming - and the happy duty of many an australian teenager – mowing!
Parking on a grassed area can crush the living plant very quickly. But there’s a great product out there called ‘Sure Pave.’
It’s a plastic reinforcing grid that goes under the grass and protects the roots. This helps damaged grass on the surface regenerate.
Personally, I prefer the crush of grass and the crunch of gravel over concrete any day - but that’s just me.