Tel. 01823 765045

Our front garden can make a difference

front garden

Outside our front door is an important area for us to tackle as we strive to help the planet!

However small a front garden we may have, we can make a difference.  There has been a swing towards greening UK front gardens, but a great many are still mainly paved. No greenery….no insect life, no bees, no butterflies, no birds…nothing….

Does it matter if we concrete/tarmac over our front garden….?

Well, YES! 

Because there are serious consequences!

Flooding and pollution!

Hard driveways allow rainwater to run straight off, so that oil, brake dust, heavy metals and pollutants from cars wash into the drains and on to pollute the rivers.

The surge of rainfall hitting hard surfaces can overwhelm the drains, many of which are old and unable to cope with bursts of heavy rainfall leading to polluted flooding.

Plants catch the rain, absorb much of it, and slow the progress of water going to drains.  Much rain falling on plants will evaporate or be used by the plant, the remainder slowly passes through the soil where pollutants are filtered out before that water reaches the rivers.

Cooling and oxygen.

Only plants and trees absorb carbon dioxide and give out oxygen.

The water vapour given off by plants during their version of breathing (photosynthesis), cools the air making our ever-rising temperatures more bearable.

Wildlife and our wellbeing.

NO GREEN COVER…. no insects, bees, butterflies or birds. No shelter or food for creatures…no life…NOTHING …and for us…. just dust and health damaging pollutants for our lungs.

But we CAN have parking AND greenery…



First try very hard to plant a hedge…this would act as your very own pollution control net…hedges can shield your home and lungs from at least 50% of the toxic dust thrown up by cars and provide wildlife shelter and even some privacy. Narrow hedges or a neat row of shrubs to line the sides of our drive area would make a difference.


If hedges are not possible, try to cover your fencing or walls with climbers, roses, ivy or jasmine.

A shady drive? Then grow climbing hydrangeas…they love the shade, produce amazing flowers and hold onto the walls once established…but harmless to any brick work.


Plant a small tree in a corner of your drive. A small holly, bay, amelanchier or prunus spire all neat and easy to fit in.


There are now many permeable options which allow water to drain through them. Gravel is a good option, and many plants will grow in gravel.

Some opt to pave the area that tyres run on and fill in the space between tyre tracks with low growing plants such as thyme, creeping Jenny or ajuga.

RHS research has shown that if gardeners pulled up even one paving stone of 1 metre square and planted a shrub or tree for carbon storage this would help to balance the heating of many thousands of homes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share this article


You may also like...

thick forest with beautiful trees and greenery

Print and paper myths

When it comes to the sustainability of Print and Paper, it is important to separate the Facts from the Myths. The European paper industry is

crab apple tree

Garden Trends Summer 2023

This summer ‘eco-friendly’ gardening is on the agenda. In the UK we have suffered the extremes of droughts and floods, milder winters and wetter summers.

We go to print in...
Articles by category