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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Grass Sofas are Big and Green

by Bonnie Alter

park sofa photo
Image from Osterley Park

What could be nicer: a big green grass sofa, out in the sun, in front of a gorgeous country house. Leave it to the National Trust to arrange it. They have grown and installed ten couches in different countryside locales and towns to get people lazing around outside instead of in.

It's a good thing too because according to a study that they carried out, Brit's spend an average of 43 hours a week sitting around on their sofa, even in summer. It gets worse: in some places it's 50 to 70 hours. Now the weather isn't always great, but still....

Images from

Obesity due to poor eating habits and lack of exercise is becoming a huge issue in the western world. Statistics such as these emphasize the extent of the problem. The Trust is calling them 'living' rooms because, along with a coffee table, the whole thing is made out of grass and turf. What a fun way to get people outside--the only thing lacking is the t.v.

Way back in 2006, this TreeHugger's first post was about a grass chair, grown from seeds and a DIY kit. The National Trust's technique is far more sophisticated. Theirs take a month to grow, with a base of straw, covered in green turf. Fourteen bales of hay, held together with rope, were used for each sofa. Then 20 meters of pristine turf were grown especially for each of the sofas and every one was hand wrapped carefully by expert gardeners. Then the turf had to be sewn around the corners to hold it on. Ditto for the coffee table.

outdoor chair photo

The largest one is located at Osterley Park in London. Almost 100 square meters of turf and almost 50 hay bales were used to create this sofa and table. And it's all worth it when you see the fun and smell the grass on a beautiful day.

chair grass photo
The original: 2006

Here's the original grow-your-own. A collector's item.