Paving for parking – urban front gardens lose their bloom

In an effort to reduce their parking dilemmas, whilst saving time and money, urban homeowners are opting for the ultimate low maintenance garden – paving.

The number of +2 car households is on the rise and with your average terrace house having little or no parking, urban parking is becoming an increasing problem for many city dwellers. The answer appears to be paving over your front garden to create off-road parking, with the added benefit of saving the time and money involved in managing a leafy frontage. Victorian terraces are doomed to loose their blossom under layers of blocks and asphalt, wild life is being pushed out and the risk of flooding is increasing.

There is no end to the environmental effects of completely paving front gardens, the loss of plants intensifies the ‘heat island effect’ making the centre of cities a couple of degrees warmer than the suburbs. Plants do their bit to purify the air, therefore as cars increase and plants are forced out, pollution is only set to get worse.

It may not seem like a big deal, the area you’re thinking about paving probably seems relatively small, but 12 sq miles of London’s front gardens are now paved. Perhaps you have little or no alternative to solve you parking dilemma and if you do decide to create your own car park, before you slap down a ton of asphalt, think about how you can strike a balance. Not only are un-paved gardens better for the environment, in a city where outside space is at a premium they are to be enjoyed, off-road parking may add value to your house but don’t under estimate the value of curb-appeal!

How to strike the balance right: Try to maintain a border incorporating a few low-maintenance plants, the surface you lay should be as permeable as possible – gravel is ideal to allow for drainage.

An urban front garden, if done thoughtfully, can do three things: facilitate parking, provide a home for wildlife and become an enjoyable outside living space.

What ever you decide to do with your outside space, if your perennials and topiary are in need of a prune or you need to solve your parking problems, post your job on Rated People.

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