My current thinking is to encourage the planting of hedges around the boundaries of front gardens. I don’t mean the dark inpenetrable planting of soilder straight Leylandii or even Laurel (even though it is a favourite of mine, particularly Prunus lusitanica (Portugese Laurel), nope, I mean a mixture of both native and non-native species that will bring a vitality and diversity to the front garden.
I relocated from north-east London in the autumn 2014 to Baldock in Hertfordshire onto an estate built in the 1990s, where the landscaping is very flat and with a distinct lack of flora to the front of the properties’ gardens. Most of which are laid to lawn from front door to boundary. A sprinkling of residents have created something different by removing their lawns entirely and laid slabs and stones, feature ornaments, plants, picket fencing and lighting, all of which to my eye creates visual interest and diversity – all the more striking because the majority have been left as first created.
I think that the placing of the utility ground covers e.g. water meter and sewage within the property’s boundary has limited the planting opportunities for each of the houses on this estate. Also the fact that they are small frontages – the depth of the front garden measuring almost the same distance as the width of the houses. The location is surrounded by Hertfordshire farmland and young woodland but sadly little of this is referenced in the front gardens. I would dearly love to bring nature closer to us all not just for its beauty but to also encourage the local wildlife to feast and shelter and bring neighbours together through a shared project.
And so I am starting the Hedge Revival and I mean to lead by example, over the next few months I shall report on my progress through this blog. Next week I shall write about some of the plant choices I am considering using and how to connect with the local community on this project.
Until next time – happy gardening endeavours in 2015!