With weather forecasters predicting another hot, dry summer for Yellowknife, some homeowners are considering alternatives to grassy green lawns that take a lot of maintenance, and time.
Dave Hysert, a landscaper at the Boreal Garden Centre in Yellowknife, says demand is growing for artificial lawns made up of synthetic fibres that look like natural grass. He's already booked seven jobs this spring.
"It might not be for everybody," Hysert says. "A lot of people like to mow their lawn. They like the smell, they like the feel. But, for those who are weekend warriors and don't want to be around, enjoy the lake and stuff, seems to be a good alternative."
That convenience comes with a cost — two to three times more than traditional sod — but Hysert says artificial lawns are worth it, typically lasting up to 25 years.
Last June and July, Yellowknife saw less than half the amount of rain it normally gets: only about 50 mm, or two inches.This year forecasters say not much will change
Yellowknifer Ken Hall is definitely done with lawn care.
"Watering it, fertilizing it, aerating it, putting some top soil on it, cutting it whenever it would grow," says Hall. "It was very frustrating because with all the effort we put into it, there wasn't a lot of return and it still didn't look very nice."
Hall didn't go the artificial route, but three years ago, he replaced his grass with gravel and natural shrubs.
He says maintenance will only take two hours this year, leaving him with more time to relax and fish.