My friend Wendy, a recent transplant from LA, moved to the Napa Valley and managed to snag a charming wooden house with coveted vineyard views. Her biggest challenge, however, was the garden, a combination of dirt and bedraggled grass aspiring to be a lawn. She remedied the dirt problem by covering the bare patches with pebbles, making a charming outdoor seating area. As for the grass, she managed to get herself an instant patch of green from ForeverLawn, a firm that has come up with a synthetic turf product that is both environmentally friendly (recycled plastic water bottles are used in the manufacturing process) and aesthetically appealing. Forget the ugly memories of Astroturf; this grass is soft to the touch, and since it can be woven in two (and three) shades of green, it has a textured appeal and natural look. Grass and installation typically cost about $8 per square foot, which is not inexpensive—but the surface will pay for itself over time, since the only maintenance required is an occasional hosing off.