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How many front gardens on your street are green not grey?

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Hi, I'm interested to know how people have greened their front gardens and whether there are a lot of grey spaces around or whether you are lucky and have lots of green front gardens nearby. I've been working on my front garden over the past two years to make it more attractive and productive.

I've written about the inspiring small Feel Good Front Gardens at Hampton Court this year on my blog and included the details of my own entry to the competition with an entirely herbal front garden.

https://dogwooddays.net/2016/07/16/rhs-feel-good-front-gardens-a-herbal-retreat/

Was anyone else inspired by the small front garden ideas this year and does anyone have big plans for their own front garden in the future? Thanks :)

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  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,126

    We have lots of green front gardens in this neck of the woods. They are as important for wildlife as the back gardens.

  • WateryWatery Posts: 388

    My front garden is a real mess but I'm proud of it anyway.  This is what it looked like when we moved in:image

    (Bags are of the gravel I collected from the back garden)

    I'm having to do things on the cheap so can only do a bit at a time but I dug it out by hand myself:image

    And here is today--it definitely needs a tidy (just took the netting off the strawberries and haven't cleaned up--and to finish the job--but at least it's not just tarmac.  When we moved in on Google Earth you could see all the lovely green front gardens and then a big splotch of black for our house:image

    Also put in this:image

    And for the parts I haven't got to yet:

    image      Yes I am the untidiest gardener in the world but at least it's alive.

    Last edited: 16 July 2016 17:36:17

  • WateryWatery Posts: 388

    By the way, I really enjoyed your blog post and lovely photos.    Someday I will have a plan and the means to carry it out!

  • karen paulkaren paul Posts: 230

    Keep up the good work Watery, you've done a great job! Our area is 50/50 really, there are some gardens lusciously planted some completely wild, lol, but that is a good thing for wildlife, but some that are absolutely barren of any green and some that are concrete flagged but an effort to add colour with the use of pots and/or hanging baskets has been made. My garden is the first two - part luscious, part out of control wild! Lol. I love the fact that I have a lot of bees, birds, frogs, etc come to visit my garden, its such a blessing :)

  • dogwooddaysdogwooddays Posts: 258

    Glad you have lots of green spaces at the front Ceres. I agree - front gardens are essential as part of corridors for wildlife. 

    Watery - you've done masses. Amazing! Lots of my garden spaces over the years have looked a real mess and have taken ages to get into shape, but it's worth it afterwards. You just have to have a vision and keep at it, which looks like exactly what you're doing. I also had lots of pots for several years when I had hardly any ground. I love my book Crops in Pots with loads of ideas on beautiful and productive container plantings. 

    As you can see from the pictures at the end of my blog post, my garden is also part luscious planting and part wild, Karen Paul! I like it that way too and the kids love seeing all the wildlife. 

    Doghouse Riley - you have a lovely front garden. Beautiful acer. Shame that not all those around you have the same. I agree that it's time pressure in many cases and that people don't understand the multiple reasons that paving areas is a problem. I guess education through campaigns like the RHS Greening Grey Britain, and showcasing simple ideas which are more maintenance, but which keep semi-permeable or permeable areas and include plants for us and wildlife is the only way to fight the growing trend.

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  • dogwooddaysdogwooddays Posts: 258

    That must be disheartening Hazel. I guess we have to keep on trying to persuade people that green areas in front gardens are essential for health, happiness, wildlife and the environment. I'm working with a neighbour on our joint side garden which is now planted and looking lovely, and we're also chatting about what she could plant at the front of her house to make it greener. Good luck with your front garden and I hope the trend in your street reverses in the future :-) 

  • David WDavid W Posts: 84

    When we moved in here two years ago the house was the only one on the street that was grey, the previous owners had covered what had been lawn and borders with purple slate to park extra cars on at the side of the drive. (There is an area on the other side of the drive that was a bit green)

    We thought it would be easy to reinstate, just dig up the slate, remove the membrane, some months later having hacked through solid clay and builders rubble and brought in 4 tons of topsoil it was converted back to green again, but is still very much a work in progress.  

    image

    Cheers

  • dogwooddaysdogwooddays Posts: 258

    Yes it's so difficult to reverse if it's been converted to hard standing, but worth it, for you and the wildlife/environment. It looks lovely - I think creating new spaces is so exciting, even if it takes a while to get to a completed garden (as much as gardens are ever complete!) 

    Last edited: 17 July 2016 10:09:28

  • Joyce21Joyce21 Posts: 15,489

    All green around here apart from one which is three quarter paving and gravel. It's so much more cheerful and people talk to each other when out gardening.

    SW Scotland
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