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Revitalizing the concept of house front gardens


03-30-2017 08:42 BJT

(Source: CGTN)

House front gardens are getting a makeover at London's largest interior design show. Horticulture students are re-imagining the front garden in a bid to boost community spirit, help the environment and also improve kerb appeal and property value.

These fancy set ups have pride of place at the Ideal Home Show in London -- just like a real front garden, these are the first things visitors must cross as they enter the event.

And boy, do they look like the real thing -- this seat among the flowers looks like the perfect spot to pass an hour or two on a sunny afternoon.

However, in the UK, the front garden is considered something of a relic of the past -- back when neighbors shared a cup of tea over the garden wall.

"There's been a great demise in British front gardens, we have lost them in their millions and that has an impact, not only on drainage or aesthetics but also on wildlife too. Cultivation Street which is a national campaign to support community gardens and front gardens has worked with the colleges this year to put together a series of inspirational front gardens to hopefully make people do more with that space outside the front with optical illusions to make it look bigger, or even a garden like this one where most of the borders are planted up with varieties that you can eat," Chartered horticulturist David Donomey said.

In a bid to revitalize the front garden concept, the Young Gardener of the Year awards, working in association with the Prince's Foundation for Building Community, has tasked six of Britain's leading horticultural colleges to create their vision of a sustainable urban front garden.

One horticulture student has created an innovative solution to store rubbish and recycling bins. His goal was to design a garden without barriers, and with plenty of space to sit and talk.

"Well the garden we've designed here is a community based garden. So with the seating and our planters you can literally sit anywhere and bring friends over, talk to them and just relax in the garden plus we don't have any high boundaries so this allows you to lean over and talk to your neighbours and there's no big front walls, so if anybody is walking by they can stop and have a chat and obviously come walk in easily and join you and sit down," Ryan Boyton with  Writtle University College said.

Experts at the show claim the front garden's demise is because it's become a dumping ground for bikes and rubbish bins, or paved over to park a car. But the Ideal Home Show's director explains why the garden needs to be much more than that.
"It's bringing flowers, it's bringing wildlife back into the front garden and just trying to connect them more with the home. I think they've been forgotten and people are just too much paving over their front garden. And this is trying to get people to think about that as an extra living space, as they do with the back garden, it is trying to do the same sort of thing with the front garden," Giles Perry, event director with Ideal Home Show, said.

The Ideal Home Show in London kicked off on March 24th and will run until April 9th. The annual event attracts close to a quarter of a million visitors.

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