All that plastic grass

The horror happened on our street this week.  Truck after truck carted away trees, hostas, shrubs and soil.  All gone.  Then more trucks rolled in with herbicides to spray the ground, truckloads of screening was dumped and then  thumped into place with heavy duty machinery.  The final insult was ugly looking unreal all-plastic grass.  It’s awful, terrible, dreadful.

We neighbours stood around gobsmacked and upset.  There was not a damn thing we could do. The owners of this plastic hell can do whatever they want with their property. The trees were of small enough caliper that they didn’t need a permit for removal. And no one cares about that other stuff.  It’s legal and we can just mind our own business.

But what no one has taken into account  is how this is going to change the ecology in our area.  We live on underground streams from the  Taddlecreek system which runs through downtown Toronto.  This water eventually ends up in Lake Ontario.  What we dump on our gardens will end up there too.  We are on a flood plain which means the ground water rises dramatically  in a year like this one and floods everyone’s garden.

Well this stuff plastic stuff is supposed to be permeable but when you see them pounding limestone screening into the ground, what comes to mind is cement.  The water that would normally rise and then fall is going to tumble into the gardens on either side  of this awful green horror.  What’s there for birds in this wasteland?  Where will the millions of  animals that make up the soil go? It will have the smell of death about it forever.  Nothing will change.

I understand it when put plastic grass (and there some good products) in a small area, say around a swimming pool.  But to completely destroy an entire yard for plastic is unconscionable.  You can bet this home owner will get a leaf blower to remove any offending bits of nature which might stray on to his property.  Why isn’t there something we can do about it?  It’s all perfectly legal.


  • Marilyn Lightstone

    June 29, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Awful, Marjorie! Just awful! The dark forces of ignorance. How ironic, too, that this should be happening in YOUR neighborhood…

  • Carol Dunk

    June 30, 2013 at 8:57 am

    How utterly horrible. And no laws against it exist. No wonder we have floods.

  • Maureen McIlwain

    June 30, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Dreadful – and so short-sighted. Bad enough to replace bald, twitchy grass with plastic but to remove all living matter? UGH!!

  • Aldona Satterthwaite

    July 2, 2013 at 10:07 am

    People who don’t like nature and gardens should buy themselves a condo with no balcony and be done with it. I too lived on a street where one of the neighbours had a plastic lawn. It looked relentlessly green in all seasons, and the owner was constantly out there, catching any stray leaf that might fall and mar the “perfection.” She may have even vacuumed it. As you are on a flood plain, I wonder if this person might find that her “carpet of lawn” will get quite smelly. I once visited a cottage that had astroturf on the deck, and it stank.

  • K. Willett

    July 24, 2013 at 10:05 am

    If this was done as an intentional affront to the neighbours, could it be seen as malicious mischief I wonder. Certainly it could cause drainage problems, I am surprised there is no recourse there.

  • christopher newton

    October 16, 2013 at 10:24 am

    The garden next door to me in in Niagara-on-the-Lake — it was an old fashioned country garden with a loose forsythia hedge, a vegetable patch, some lilacs, a few roses — has been turned into a parking lot. Gravel has been pounded into the ground and the surface laid with reconstituted stone tiles. One large tree was removed, a second is now dead. It’s all legal and we are in a conservation area of the town! Some conservation.

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