Posted: 23/11/2013 at 17:05
Hi Flowering Rose
yes it is a concern. Where I live (in London) a lot of front gardens are now drives - understandable with parking being so scarce and/or expensive, I guess. But also there are a lot of neglected gardens. It breaks my heart when I know that there are so many people out there who would love a garden.
I live in the "garden flat" of a converted house. I've always had a back garden, but until three years ago, the front garden consisted of a big lime tree and one border full of overgrown "car park" shrubs. The rest was concreted over. I decided to chop down the hideous shrubs and replant the one border, and my neighbour asked whether I would plant up the rest if he dug up the concrete. I asked him to buy a ton of topsoil as well and planted it up, using the entire contents of my compost bins, cuttings, divisions and plants grown from seed, plus some impulse buys that had never thrived in the back garden. I made a lawn from "mind your own business" - I wanted a patch of green but no mowing.
Now it looks like it has always been there, and I've met so many neighbours who have stopped to talk to me about it and are really pleased to see a garden - I'd lived here ten years without speaking to any of them! Passers-by often stop to have a chat about what is growing, or what I am doing in the garden. So front gardens bring neighbours together!
It is alive with bees and hoverflies in the summer and this Autumn, the spiders and harvestmen were much in evidence. There are all types of funghi springing up, enjoying the leaf mould that the lime tree generates.
I've added bulbs of various types. The plants are all well-established and many are self-seeding - I am hoping for drifts of cyclamen eventually and the anemones and fritillaria should also spread. There is something in flower virtually every day of the year, although at the moment it's the foliage that steals the show. So much nicer to look at that what was there before.
I'm so glad we did it!