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  • Eleanor Owens

Is the front garden just a parking space?

Utilising space is hugely important when it’s limited. Front gardens are a wasted space that aren’t viewed as a ‘garden’ and only a driveway or place to put the bins. However, understandably, we need a place to park our cars; not all front gardens can be completely ‘green’.


It can remain a parking space but utilise ground reinforcement grids that can be place under permeable surfaces such as gravel/grass. This will allow plants to thrive and for better drainage.


The simple solution is unimaginative. Front gardens are just paved over with concrete, slabs or tarmac; this creates drainage problems and makes urban areas look grey and dismal. The idea of low maintenance is too popular.

Gardeners around the country are crying out to see thriving front gardens that are bursting with colour and wildlife!


Currently:

  • Paved over

  • Place to park cars

  • Identical to the neighbours

  • Boring

  • Untidy

Goals:

  • Wildlife friendly

  • Productive

  • Useful

  • Unique

  • Permeable surface


Low growing herbs are a favourite choice for areas like this; these include chamomile, creeping thyme and mint.


Front gardens are often very small; container planting is popular in urban areas where space is limited. There’s a huge list of plants that can be easily grown in pots that will also provide for bees/birds/butterflies! List here. I recommend plants such as lavender, salvia, achillea, nepeta and annuals e.g. sunflowers, cornflowers etc. Vegetables are also easily grown in pots; these will provide for you as well as wildlife. Make use of vertical space. Use trellis to allow climbers to grow; runner beans, sweet peas etc are easy to grow and crop perpetually throughout summer.


Larger front gardens are great for small ‘allotments’. An allotment is productive, wildlife friendly and it’s aesthetically pleasing! Vegetables, cutting flowers and fruits can be grown easily however always check the aspect and plant accordingly. If you desire a low maintenance garden, there is a healthy list of perennial plants and shrubs that attract wildlife and don’t need much attention. List here.

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