Landscaping & Design/type of ground cover


QUESTION: I have a small side/backyard < 500 sf it is shady, I have a medium size dog. I plan on staying in the house for 20 yrs+.
I live in the Pac NW.  considering pea gravel, river rock , stamped concrete and synthetic turf to cut down on dirt dog brings into house, and make cleaning up his potty easier.  Also looking for a way to may my yard more useable and seem larger.  taking out most  of the existing shrubs.  My yard is enclosed with 2 gates, my house, and my neighbors house. its about 25 x 15.
Which product would you use? and if its turf, which companies would you use

ANSWER: I am a bid fan of stamped concrete, which can be stained and treated to give it a high end (yet low maintenance!) look.  There is not one particular brand, though I do prefer liquid stains that penetrate rather than powder stain that sit on top of the concrete.  I would also use a concrete sealer.  To break up the hardness, try using groupings of container plantings to give the space an organic aesthetic without increasing the upkeep needed.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I have a huge issue with moss, will the sealer help to eliminate this?
Also, I like the grass look, but there are so many types: holes, no holes, infill no infill, stapled, not you have any insight on synthetic turf?

Truthfully, I am not a fan of artificial turf.  Particularly with pets.  I find the odors can be a challenge, as can fading and wear.  That said, should you choose to go that route; I would make sure the product is laid with adequate drainage beneath.

Nothing but eliminating shade and increasing air flow will resolve a moss issue.

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Gina Samarotto


Specializing in all landscape and garden design including master planning, pools and spas, holiday design and decor, outdoor living spaces, specialty gardens, etc.


A designer with more than 12 years experience, my work has been featured in the New York Times, Better Homes and Gardens and other print media. A principal designer with a northeast Design/Build firm, my work indulges my passion for all elements of design.


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