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From grey to green: A beautiful modern-day garden


1st Jan 2015 Home & Garden

From grey to green: A beautiful modern-day garden

Research by the Royal Horticultural Society has suggested that over the last ten years our modern day parking needs and wheelie bin requirements have slowly turned our gardens into grey spaces. How can we reverse the paved garden trend?

The grey yard: a very modern problem

This trend has been brought about by modern day needs. Us Brits need more space in the front yard for cars and all those extra wheelie bins. If the trend continues we may be contributing to the warming of our cities, increasing pollution, heightening the risk of flooding, and threatening wildlife. 

How can we bring a bit of green back to our front gardens?


Greening the grey

Hampton’s Community Street designed by Nigel Dunnett is the Grey to Green equivalent of having your cake and eating it, transforming a typical paved community into a rainbow of colour.

Dunnett’s design is packed with clever ideas anyone can use to improve a front garden or communal area, including the introduction of a green roof over the bin store and various bug hotels in quiet corners and above a bicycle rack. If there isn’t much space you can always plant upward!



Greener ideas

Replacing part of your drive’s tarmac with a gravelled area allows rainwater to drain away more readily and also gives the scope to add some planting.

Consider adding scent and colour with robust thymes, or some low growing grasses such as Hakonechloa for some eye-catching movement. 

Adding a climber to a wall of your house will not only make your home look greener, but will also keep your energy usage green. Climbers will help to insulate your house in winter and keep it cooler in summer.

Take a look at The Royal Horticultural Society’s Greening Grey Britain campaign for more ideas on how to contribute more green to our greying landscape. 


About the author

Michelle Chapman is a gardener, freelance writer and garden blogger from Wiltshire. She writes the award winning blog, Veg Plotting, where her small town garden is a regular feature alongside any topic which springs to mind whilst at her allotment.