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My last house had a horrible front garden. The landlord had dug down several feet and used major chemicals, laid a membrane then filled it with stones. It wasn't for parking, he just didn't want to have to do any work on it. It was very satisfying when I noticed loads of poppies growing in between the stones !
The house we just moved into a couple of weeks ago has a very soggy, uneven, east facing front garden. A patchy bit of grass and standing water in pools. It's not going to beat me tho. The only thing apart from the grass is a clump of marigolds in the corner, got a shock when I saw them flowering in mid December. But ar least it means something will grow there.

Although I think it already looks very attractive, I really would like to enhance our front garden this year.  It faces East and the side of the house, where our drive is,  is North facing with lots of room for climbing plants in large pots.  In fact, I found Joe Swift's contribution to the Garden Revival programme enlightening, regarding the plants growing on a trellis up a drainpipe!

I'd like to do more with the front this year, it's in shade most of the day, even in mid summer. Woodland plants may grow there...when it was a garden, ferns did well and there are some evergreen grasses which may do well. I'm thinking I can move some of the gravel, cut through the weed membrane, plant up and move the gravel back, probably not a good plan

Garfield, the cat was buried in the front earlier this year too , I couldn't leave her at the vets, so when she went off to rainbow bridge and after much discussion with friends brought her home.

Any suggestions as to shade loving evergreen plants for the front would be welcomed...

Zoomer, you might want to look at the thread 'Woods' where there are a number of suggestions for shade loving plants.  I recommend a Mahonia, which is particularly good this time of year, producing beautiful yellow, scented blooms.



Thanks Patsy, just checked out Mahonia and am quite taken by it, very seasonal, cuttings would make a nice table decoration at Christmas and it flowers from November to March.



An easy, evergreen shrub with sweetly scented flowers in January through to March?  Sarcoccoca.  The scent wafts through the air beautifully    And honeysuckle too.  

I would have loved a good sized front garden but our is tiny and it was hideous large slabs when we moved in covering the whole thing.  There is only space for one car and we can't park on the road it's too busy and causes congestion, so we block paved (which does let water seep between gaps, obviously not as good as grass/soil but we needed a parking space).  I made sure the work men left me as much space round the edge as possible to put plants in which seemed a good compromise.  My mum has a decent sized front garden with lawn, shrubs and pots but hates gardening out there because she feels self conscious/exposed, not everyone has the confidence to talk to passing strangers!  Our street has pretty good front gardens, which contributed to us buying the place as my Grandad always says you can tell if it's a nice neighbourhood by how much care goes into the front gardens!

Sarcoccoca another good one, not so sure about honeysuckle Verdun,  I have trouble growing honeysuckle in the back garden so don't hold up much hope for the front  

I was thinking of getting a Sarcoccoca until I read somewhere that they sucker which made me think I'd always be trying to contain it.

Peat B

The 'demise' of the front garden is a result of the so called 'wealth' of people buying cars, paving over their front space and parking their cars on the concrete and slabs.  This show of affluence and parking lunacy, causes flooding in town already on a flood plain, bursts storm drains and ' Ho ho, wot 'ave we 'ere '?  Councils grant permission to slab over gardens, preventing the rain from soaking DOWN into the earth, it runs off onto the roads, into the drains, and the result is chaos. Wottasurprise ! ( not )

If town planning councils had a driblet of brain, they would grant permission only after a thundering gurt tax on garden loss, and eventually, the problem would 'drain away', in the manner it would naturally.  Too many bloody cars anyway !

Peat B

Furthermore.................. ! it would be quite simple to park the car onto one of these strong mesh things one can buy. lay it down over the parking space, on top of the grass or whatever, and the car sits on top without fuss, sinking, mess or nausea. it's hardly rocket science to solve 90% of these problems. Just a teeny bit of expense and common sense.                  But then, 99% of statistics are made up on the spot !

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