If we think about amenity in our front gardens, plants are almost certainly the most important of all the elements. Plants soften, enhance and mediate the urban environment, which otherwise can become harsh and sterile.

We have an affinity with plants, sometimes most noticeable in our feelings about trees, probably because, like us, they are living things. Plants can moderate the effects of climate and pollution. They grow with time and often change with the seasons; they offer valuable colour, form and texture. We enjoy plants in their own right, but we can also use them in a purposeful way to perform functions.

In these pages, plants will be featured, not because they are exotic specimens, but because they are generally inexpensive and easy to nurture and maintain.  Some of the most common plants to be found in gardens, have become so popular because they are easy to grow and rewarding in their effect.

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the campaign to revitalise Britain's front gardens

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