Reviving Your Front Garden The Easy Way
It has to be said that some front gardens have become an unloved no-man’s land between the street and the front door, and this is mainly due to the fact that these pieces of land are being used for car parking. This is having a negative effect on the environment and the community, with passers-by seeing these areas as waste land and disposing of their rubbish and junk there. And the lack of plants to soak up pollutants from the traffic is having a detrimental effect on our air quality.
In London 12 square miles of front gardens, that’s the equivalent of 22 Hyde Parks have been concreted over in recent years. So what can we do to make our front gardens the pretty and proud places they used to be?
Communities in London are starting to work together in an effort to transform these unloved pieces of land. If you feel your neighbourhood could benefit from a bit of TLC round up some neighbours and share your ideas with them, you may be surprised to hear that others in the area were thinking the same thing but just didn’t know what to do about it. Working as a team is much easier than flying solo, and when your neighbours realise that transforming these small spaces of land can actually raise the house prices in the neighbourhood, they will be just as keen as you are to start improving their gardens.
You can still use a section of your front garden for parking, let’s face it we are a nation that relies on our cars and 40% of households have at least two cars per household. If you want to create a drive way or get rid of the ugly concrete one you have, use a carpet of reinforced grass protection mesh. You can buy this from most good DIY stores or via online stores; it is easy to lay down and relatively inexpensive. This will provide an area to park your vehicle, but will not cause flooding (which concrete drives do), will be better for the environment and will look a whole lot better than a patch of grey concrete!
Next thing to do is to add some plants. If you have a small front garden then don’t plant trees that are going to dominant the area when at full height, what may look like a lovely ”little tree” at the garden centre still has some growing to do. Instead go for a tree that will grow under 15 foot see examples here also consider if you want to have autumn colour, something ever green or something that can be planted in a pot.
If you want to create a screen with plants to reduce the traffic noise or keep people looking into your down stairs windows, then tall grasses and bamboo are ideal as they will create a barrier and also provide some movement in the garden. These can be successfully grown in pots.
Climbers such as clematis, honey suckles and roses will soften the exterior of the house and will provide a beautiful scent during the flowering season. They can also hide ugly features such as drain pipes.
Other features that work well in a front garden include; door canopies, water features, garden art and good secure boundaries.
It would be an awful shame if we all gave up on these small plots of land that could help bring communities together, improve the environment and give us so much pleasure. So have a step outside your own front door and consider could your garden do with a little bit of TLC to make it into something really special.