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Not always Paving the Way

Posted by Jean Vernon on 17 May 2009 at 03:08 PM

To pave or not to pave has been the question for urban and suburban gardeners for decades. With parking at a premium, but the need to support our wildlife even more pressing, gardeners need to find a good compromise. At this years Chelsea Flower Show Ian Dexter has presented a show garden in four parts, Marshalls Living Street. "I've got 4 front gardens, one caters for grow your own and sustainability, so I've used reclaimed materials in the garden, reclaimed wood and even reclaimed beehive as a composter. There's also a vertical edible wall, it's a very sensory aromatic element where we have alpine strawberries and tumbling tomatoes to give a good degree of fruiting crops. I think that without doubt this garden is aimed to be relevant and attainable, there are elements in all four garden that the public can think 'we can do that in ours'. "


"Front gardens are a massive untapped resource, but too often only perceived as storage for a car. We need to take time and care to green up our streets. You can have both, there's another garden with a living wall; a tapestry of heucheras and grasses. That garden has room for micro car, so it has function as well. I've used the vertical surfaces for the planting.It's really about marrying function but not necessarily at the expense of plantable areas, I'm trying to illustrate how you can have room for parking a car, but you can have a garden too. You can even have stepping stones over a sunken garden for access." 


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