The Royal Horticultural Society is calling on the nation to get Greening Grey Britain as it launched a new report at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show highlighting an alarming trend of the UK paving over its front gardens and not growing any plants in them.
The RHS report reveals that three times as many front gardens are paved over compared to ten years ago. Today one in four UK front gardens are completely paved over and nearly one in three front gardens has no plants. The RHS believes it is vital to reverse this trend for the nation’s health, for wildlife, to mitigate against pollution and heat waves and to protect the UK’s homes from flooding.
The RHS is launching the Report at the world famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show as part of its campaign to get Greening Grey Britain. The gardening charity is calling on people to pledge to green their own bit of grey and sharing updated advice and ideas to green up front gardens at www.rhs.org.uk/ggb. As part of the campaign, RHS Britain in Bloom is also transforming 6,000 community spaces from grey to green over the next three years. Key to the campaign is sharing ideas for parking and plants in front gardens.
The RHS Great Chelsea Garden Challenge garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is a front garden that demonstrates how you can have parking and plants. It highlights ideas and inspiration for people to take home and incorporate in their own front gardens.
Joe Swift, BBC presenter of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show who has pledged to get Greening Grey Britain at rhs.org.uk/ggb, says; “We can all make our streets greener and better places to live and take action against this growing concrete jungle. We’ve made this conversion to grey one garden at a time and now, today, there are 7.24 million front gardens that are mostly paved. It’s time to get gardening; we can all make difference: from window boxes to tree planting, let’s join the RHS and get Greening Grey Britain.”
Over the coming months the RHS will share and promote ideas for individuals and communities to go from grey to green, ranging from pulling up a paving stone and planting it up, to creating a window box, planting up front gardens and transforming grey public spaces.
RHS 5 top tips for squeezing plants into the front garden
- Fill up the corners: you usually can’t park there so plant instead
- Go up the wall: climbers and wall shrubs take up little space. And they don’t only look great, they’ll insulate your home too, saving on heating bills
- Hedge your bets: Rather than walls or fences, grow a hedge to filter out particulate (dust) pollution to help you breath more easily. It will provide a home for wildlife too.
- Growing up: With a slender trunk, a tree can take your greenery up and over the cars.
- No soil? Plant in containers: Even 100% paved gardens can be made greener by using containers.