Front gardens

"Goodbye to those little patches of green."

Front gardens

London front gardens RIP

Front gardens, once a defining feature of London’s suburbs, are in increasingly short supply. Haringey, where I live, is falling over itself to follow in the concreted, crazy-paved footsteps of Brent, Barnet and Enfield with barely a whimper of protest from anyone. This is a great shame, because there’s something lovely about a front garden.

It’s the sheer decorativeness of them that gives them their charm. There’s something fanciful, even frivolous, about a little patch of lawn in front of your house - and they can be marvellous (see the example above, not my garden, unfortunately).

But even if they’re individually undistinguished, collectively front gardens can make an ordinary street quite beautiful – while the lack of them tends to do the reverse. Streets where every garden has been paved over look vile and, quite appart from the hideousness factor, this wholesale front garden deforestation is causing serious problems with flooding.

So why are so many people paving over like there’s no tomorrow? Would they honestly really rather look at their 4x4s squatting on a patch of concrete outside their front window than a front garden? What do you think? Would you pave over?