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Word on the Street: Landscaper opens artificial-lawn showroom in Clovis

Hugo Lopez has been doing lawn and landscape work since he was 12, helping out in his father’s business. Now 27, the licensed landscape contractor has opened a new artificial-lawn showroom in Clovis to seize upon a growing desire by homeowners to save water on lawn irrigation.

Synthetic Grass Showroom, at 125 Shaw Ave. near Minnewawa Avenue, opened about two weeks ago in a building that formerly housed Instant Replay Sports. Lopez redid the exterior landscaping of the building to show off his landscape-design services with different varieties of artificial grass accented by drought-tolerant plants and different types of rock landscape accents. But what really makes the building stand out, even to the casual passer-by on Shaw Avenue, is the roof that Lopez repainted in a vibrant green, in keeping with the grassy nature of the business.

You don’t know how hard it was to find a nice shade of green.

Hugo Lopez, landscape contractor and owner of Synthetic Grass Showroom in Clovis

“You don’t know how hard it was to find a nice shade of green,” he said with a grin. “If you get the wrong one, it can be pretty messed up.”

Inside, Lopez set up several areas to show off several styles of grass-and-rock treatments, including lifelike-looking lawns and a miniature putting green. The idea is help give people ideas about how they can replace expansive lawns not with artificial grass alone, but with rock and water-saving shrubbery as well. Lopez said he’s been receiving more calls about installing artificial grass over the past couple of years, and one of the big reasons for opening the showroom is that “we saw some of our (traditional lawn-maintenance) jobs being replaced by this.

“I wanted an establishment to be able to have a steady flow of these jobs coming through” in addition to his residential and commercial landscape services. Lopez does both artificial and natural landscaping work.

Lopez said he works exclusively with two artificial-grass manufacturers, Tiger Turf and Everlast, through distributor Synthetic Grass Warehouse. “We’re in the installation business,” Lopez said, noting that he works with customers to plan and design their projects and then order and install the materials, rather than directly selling the artificial grass itself.

Lopez’s showroom is one of a growing number of artificial-lawn businesses in the Fresno-Clovis area and the Valley that are capitalizing on water-saving awareness after several years of drought.

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