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Mar 14

Sustainable Front Gardens Campaign

Sustainable Front Gardens Campaign

In spring 2006 we started our Front Gardens Campaign with our first article in Birmingham 13 aimed at publicising the environmental problems as well as the aesthetic damage being caused by the trend to pave and tarmac front gardens. We recognised the frustrations caused by shortage of parking spaces on our residential streets but tried to help residents look at the problem from a different viewpoint.

The Royal Horticultural Society’s approachable and informative Front Gardens Leaflet (Gardening Matters series) was our starting point. It explained the environmental implications of our decisions while at the same time offering practical solutions to the issue of where to park without losing your green frontage. Moseley in Bloom is dedicated to improving our environment for the long-term. Consequently we began to distribute leaflets at MIB events and put a link to the RHS website on the MIB website.

 This year we worked with the Moseley Society and Hall Green District to take the campaign to a wider audience. NRF funding was used to order 10,000 Front Garden Leaflets from the RHS, we drafted an encouraging cover letter and Moseley in Bloom volunteers helped distribute them to every household with a front garden in Moseley and Kings Heath ward.

We have had many positive responses to the leafleting and some requests for recommendations for landscape designers to help householders realise their plans. This has enabled us to make links with local landscapers and get them on board. Here a Cambridge Road resident explains how our leaflet and letter came through her letterbox at just the right time!

 We bought the house in Cambridge Road in the late 70’s. One feature we appreciated was the tarmac front, for the convenience of car parking.

 Over the course of years we had the tarmac replaced once and created a border against the old brick wall. Then we had the old brick wall rebuilt when we realised there was an 8″ lean in our direction By this time the tarmac had been vandalised by the Cowboy Plumbers and by last year was looking very tired. We decided it was a “project to do.” We were not certain about anything other than “we were not having those awful bricks”.

 Then through the letterbox came two leaflets. One was from Moseley in Bloom and the other from the RHS promoting the idea of reclaiming your front garden for flowers. Now, there’s an idea!

 I then spoke to my neighbour and Moseley-in-Bloomer, Jenny Brewer and then emailed Natalie and we started the process of getting a plan! For this purpose we approached Landscape Designer Jonathan Sandilands. We now have a plan and a starting date. The plan involves Rustic Slate paths and tracks with gravel in between. The planting will be through the gravel. As yet we have no firm idea of what to plant.

We’ve done the “before” photograph, and we’ll do the “after!”

Watch this space!
Ann and Andy Roxburgh

We hope that many others will have been inspired to change their plans and make a positive impact on our environment.