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Talkback: Front gardens

if you ever visit any new housing developments you will find the non existence of any front garden,and parking must be provided off road,very soon front gardens will be a thing of the past.


  • We have redeveloped our front block paved driveway from a 3/4 car parking space into a bordered green gem - no grass but plenty of growing spaces which attract all sorts of insects and bees and are far more successful than the back garden in terms of growing species of seasonal plant. We have a magnolia 'limelight' as the star, several tea roses and seasonal planting which thrives both horizontally and vertically. It has taken gardening to a whole new dimension and has encouraged favourable comments from the neighbours too. As an added bonus, we have also incorporated several square metre gardening raised beds into our design (as per David Hurrion's talk at GW live this year and the magazine articles) and we look forward to harvesting (and photographing) the results!
  • patty3patty3 Posts: 129

     Hi gm

    well done' that sounds great for wildlife and passers by to enjoy.


  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,360

    This concreting and paving of front gardens is causing flood damage too, nowhere for the rain to drain to and the getter drains overflow. I'm sure it would help if people would leave at least some earth or green in their front gardens instead of filling the whole thing. Would look better too.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • I understand that there are planning regs that force developers to restrict the number of parking spaces per dwelling… 1.5 each I think. Since most households have around i car per adult you can see the source of the problem. Yet another brainless politically response to global warming. No wonder our front gardens are disappearing.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,544

    There are rules about the materials used for off road parking now.  It has to be porous to reduce run off and thus the likelihood of flooding.    It surely doesn't take too much imagination to make an attractive parking space that's god for cars, people, plants and insects as well as reducing flooding.

    I see a programming opportunity for the Beeb here - a new Front Garden Design series such as they've had before but with particular attention being paid to materials and design for the environment.


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Great idea obelixx!

  • Yes, if you use gravel or similar material on your parking area, that doesn't (I think) need planning permission, as it allows water to drain away.

    A recent edition of the BBC Front Garden programme was all about how to get some stuff growing in limited frontage space, even if you also have a car parked there. They were showing tubs, pots and beds used to brighten up not only gardens/yards but also the areas outside, on the verges and footpaths (not always a feasilbe option but very attractive when it is).

  • patty3patty3 Posts: 129

    i have seen  drives done in brick work "not the porous type"

    and then look varnished!.

    These should be asked to make a soakaway area on it.

    as the area is huge, big enough for four cars.

  • oldchippy wrote (see)
    if you ever visit any new housing developments you will find the non existence of any front garden,and parking must be provided off road,very soon front gardens will be a thing of the past.

    I live on a new development and everyone has sizable front gardens and driveway.

    The places where I see most front gardens turned over to a car park is in cities, mostly in poor areas, not suburban housing developments.

  • I have said for a long time about the disappearing front garden and I fear back gardens too are on the decline. I hate this brick/gravel over all the front (small gardens in away I understand but big front lawns turned to horrid plainness, mainly because people think it is easier and have no interest(or time) in gardening but so many turn into weedy dirty fronts with rubbish. very sad to think pride in the front gardening is going. Although it gives hope and inspiration the gardens we saw in the programme.
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