Southfields Grid: London’s first Front Garden Friendly Neighbourhood

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Last year saw Wandsworth Borough Council declare a Climate Emergency and London become a National Park City. However, despite the focus on the importance of all things green, Wandsworth ranks only 23 – out of London’s 33 boroughs – with only 39% of green cover from the Borough’s parks, trees and front gardens. It was seeing green turning to grey in SW18 that inspired a group of residents to set out to Green the Grid and make the Southfields Grid London’s first Front Garden Friendly Neighbourhood.

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RHS reinvigorates its front garden Campaign

Laburnum TreeThe latest edition of the RHS magazine ‘The Garden” carries an article entitled “Towards a new urban front garden”. It’s all a part of the ‘Greening grey Britain’ campaign. The RHS Greening Grey Britain campaign has a focus on front gardens and greening up grey spaces. To learn more, get involved in the campaign, or see more ideas for garden greening, visit the Greening Grey Britain home page at the RHS website ( and click on the links. These include:

•Why greening grey Britain is important, for background on the subject;

•Why we all need Greening Grey Britain, for a PDF of the 2015 RHS report setting out the benefits of greenery in urban areas;

• Choosing tough plants, and with advice
on creating beautiful, low-maintenance
designs ideal for front gardens.

Front Garden Survey
An on line survey on attitudes to front gardens, part of a study by RHS PhD candidate Lauriane Chalmin-Pui, runs until April. For more, and to take part, visit:

Read the article here rhs_frontgardens02017-02

Bring Fronts Back inspires the Street Poet

Here are two poems that have been inspired by the sentiments of the Bring Fronts Back campaign. Many thanks to Philip Shamplina for sharing them with us. It’s great to see our ethos expressed in verse:


Front garden, no more, its not

Looks just like a car lot

Cars, one, two or three

Doesn’t look like austerity

Some are new and some are older

All belong to the householder

Some are taxed, no M.O.T.

All insured, that will surprise me

Hard standing where there used to be flower beds

Now dark oil patches here instead

Tyres, wheels all over the place

Unkempt, dirty, what a disgrace

Philip Shamplina aka “The Street Poet” 19/2/2013



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Visitors to your garden

One of the appeals of gardens is that they look neat and intentional. It is very unusual for a completely wild garden to look right in front of a house. We have an idea in our minds that a garden is managed and maintained. However, ecologists would question some of the fundamental ideas behind gardening and garden maintenance. In particular the traditional monoculture of the lawn is something quite artificial. But then gardens as a whole are artificial.

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the campaign to revitalise Britain's front gardens