More Green Space and Less Hard Surfaces in your Garden – WHY?

A recent report by the London Wildlife Trust on how London is losing its green gardens came up with some interesting facts.

  • There are approx 3.8 million gardens in London (if you count front and back gardens separately) – Wow what a lot.
  • 24% of London is domestic outdoor space with 14% of it vegetated. It is therefore really valuable green space.

As a result of garden design and maintenance since 1998/99 there has been a 12% drop in vegetation in gardens, hard surfaces have increased within gardens by 26% and areas of garden buildings by 55%. These are real losses as once an area is paved it is likely to be a long time, if ever, before it is removed.

The report got me thinking about how we transform our gardens to become more family friendly and suit the needs of our kids by adding paving, dens and outdoor offices. For front gardens car parking and more paving to ease maintenance are an increasing popular choice. Although planning permission is now needed if you wish to pave over your front garden unless the paving is permeable.

Our front garden

So how has our garden fared.  Are we helping this green decline?  In the back we have lifted a whole load of sleepers and created a vegetable bed (sorry edible garden – see previous post).  However we are extending the back of the house causing a 10ft loss of garden. So nil points here
In the front 2 years ago all the paving was lifted and a new garden created.  The idea was to create a low maintenance front garden full of plants.  The photo you see shows the garden now at the end of June having had no maintenance all year except for pruning of the dogwood.  So we are moving in the right direction here.
I reckon therefore our garden comes out neutral in terms of change, but more by accident then design – how does yours do?  I want our garden to attract wildlife and know that keeping it as vegetated as possible and planting insect attracting plants will help.  So from now on I will be monitoring it and checking on how we are doing.
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