How to create a beautiful garden lawn

4 min read

new turf garden lawn

Call me old fashioned but I don’t think any garden is complete without a lawn. Here are my tips on how you can create your own, beautiful, garden lawn.

The first step in creating a garden lawn lies in the design.  From a design point of view, the lawn is more than just a surface to walk or sit on. It links other elements of the garden, guides the eye towards special features and invites people to explore. It also brings a nice restful green colour into space.

Designing your garden lawn

The size and shape of your lawn is important to the design of the whole garden. Use a hosepipe to mark out the area of your new lawn and experiment with different ideas before settling on the final design. Still can’t decide? It costs less than you think to have a professional garden designer suggest and draw a simple garden layout for you.

garden lawn design by TDS
This professionally drawn plan shows how the lawn fits with the rest of the garden. This plan was created by Tapestry Design Studios

Making a lawn. Seed or turf?

We are incredibly lucky in the UK. Grass grows easily and in abundance so why not work with what nature does best?

You have two choices for creating a beautiful garden lawn. Grass seed or lawn turf. Each has its own advantages.

Grass seed

Grass seed is relatively cheap to buy. You don’t need to have a lot of energy to sow it and there are a lot of choices out there. You can choose the perfect seed mix for your soil type, aspect and usage.

grass seed for creating garden lawn

However, grass seed can only effectively be sown in spring or autumn. It takes a while to germinate. You will need to protect it from birds (and possibly from cats) and your new lawn may need weeding a couple of times before it matures. A spring sown lawn is normally strong enough to cope with normal garden traffic in about 6 months.

Turf

Turf costs a little more to buy than grass seed but it does give instant ground cover. When you buy turf, you are effectively buying an extra 12 months of grass growing because that’s how long it takes for a seeded lawn to develop a similar root system and sward density to that of good quality lawn turf.

Turf can be laid at any time of year, provided the ground is not too frozen or waterlogged to work with.

There are many different types of turf available to buy online or in garden centres. Try to learn as much as you can about turf quality before committing to buy. That way you can be sure of getting the best value for money (cheapest isn’t always best)

Artificial turf

Personally, I’m not a big fan of plastic but there are situations where artificial turf is ideal.

  • The garden is too shady for natural grass to thrive
  • The sloping ground would make it dangerous to use a mower
  • The area is too small to justify buying and storing a lawnmower
  • Access is poor or there is no one to maintain the lawn

Don’t forget that there are natural alternatives to a grass lawn.

A sedum lawn, for example, is low maintenance and looks stunning. Find out more here.

Wildflower meadows needn’t be huge. A small wildflower meadow can be a valuable haven for wildlife and just like the sedum lawn, won’t need much maintenance.  Find out about wildflower lawns here.

Creating your lawn

Once you have decided whether to use seed or turf, it’s time to start work.  For the very best results, I would recommend bringing in the professionals. Landscapers have a wealth of machinery and equipment available to help them prepare the ground to a very high standard. Find a reputable landscaper by visiting www.bali.org. These companies are all vetted so that you can be confident that they know their job and are 100% honest and trustworthy.

If you would like to lay your lawn yourself, explore our website and blog to learn tips and techniques for turfing. My favourite tip is to have a really good breakfast before you start. Yum.

Helpful articles

Creating a new lawn: seeding vs Turfing

How to lay turf https://www.turfonline.co.uk/how-to-lay-turf

Lawns for dogs: Choosing the right tips and caring for your pets’ lawn

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