“We planted sod three years ago,” said homeowner Sarah Monzon, whose two-story 1921 home in Melrose, Mass., casts a shadow over the small backyard. The yard also suffers from poor drainage and plenty of wear and tear from Monzon’s two young sons.
“The first year, we had dead spots,” Monzon said. “The second year, it was worse. The third year, it was nearly all dead. It looked terrible.”
Worse than looking bad, the backyard gave Monzon’s boys, ages 4 and 6, nothing but hard and scruffy dirt to play on. That also meant they were tracking dust and dirt – or mud - into the house year-round.
“Now, they have a lawn to play on, and they love it, even though we’ve had snow and it’s been cold lately,” Monzon said. “So I think they’re really going to love it this summer, when they can be out there all day long.”
She also said NewGrass™ is standing up to the test of daily wear and tear by her boys.
“Their bicycles don’t hurt it, and, neither do their scooters,” Monzon said. “They’ve brought the big guns out to play on it.”
And, it looks great, too, Monzon said. “It really sort of brightens your day to look out there and see a bright green grass outside the window,” Monzon said. “That was wonderful.”
The episode of the nationally syndicated home improvement and remodeling show airs the week of January 1 and marks the first time synthetic grass has been used as a landscaping alternative on Bob Vila. (To find out when the episode airs in your area, check the schedule at BobVila.com)
Based in Scottsdale, NewGrass™ features three varieties of synthetic lawns that have the look and feel of natural grass, without the maintenance or need for watering. Company president Greg Goehner oversaw the installation of Monzon’s 500-square-foot backyard.
“We’re very excited about this, to be a featured product on Bob Vila,” Goehner said. “And we’re thrilled with the family’s reaction to their new backyard.”
Re-landscaping was one strategy to create more useable space for the Monzons, without adding on to their home. Monzon’s landscape designer suggested synthetic grass for the backyard.
“I pooh-poohed it,” Monzon said. “But she told me that a natural lawn really is one of the highest maintenance things you can have. And ours hadn’t worked.”
Still, Monzon was skeptical. Her idea of artificial grass was of something from the ‘70s or ‘80s, the old- style short, stiff and unnatural-looking products that were more like “outdoor carpeting” than natural grass.
“But then I saw samples – they showed me NewGrass™ - and I was surprised at how real it looked,” Monzon said.
That didn’t end her skepticism, however. She’d heard rumors that artificial grass could be unhygienic.
“I did a lot of research, looking at all the pros and cons, and that was the one thing that I was concerned about - about sports teams that had had problems because of artificial grass,” Monzon said. “It turned out that the problem wasn’t the grass, it was the hygiene of the players. So, I was totally comfortable with it.”
Then, when the grass was installed, “it was incredible,” Monzon said.