Monday, June 05, 2017

Let’s Make Front Gardens Great Again

During the Streets Commission Focus Group stage the subject of “untidy” front gardens came up a lot – and the suggested solutions were as you might think a stick and carrot approach. More enforcement and let’s have some form of reward for good behaviour. Well, we’ve already got the reward part and it’s been operating now for some years – it’s called Redbridge in Bloom.

As you might expect it operates during the summer and this year’s competition has just started. Entry is free and you don’t have to be a cultivation expert as the judges will be looking for a wide variety of styles and design.

Whether it’s traditional or contemporary, designed for bees or wildlife, natural or meadow style, we want to see what you’ve got and publicise your efforts as an example of what can be done with a little bit of imagination and creativity.

There are five categories to choose from and a special category for schools which means that all ages can get involved! The theme this year in the Schools category is Edible flowers and plants.

Judging doesn’t require you to be in so it must be a space that is clearly visible from the road, but this could be a balcony garden or a paved front garden made beautiful through the use of pots and hanging baskets.

Listen, this is not about winning. It’s about taking part. Let’s make this a bumper year for entries to celebrate what’s good about Redbridge. With so many people complaining about front gardens being turned into car parks let’s show everybody those that have not, and those that have accommodated the car without compromising their green credentials.

The entry form and details are here (click). Go!

And here’s something Mira made earlier.


  1. Front gardens? But ground in front of homes is for the worship of metal shiny boxes!

  2. I cleared my front garden (leaving behind a "Eglantine" - proper Briar Rose) so as to have a pavement cross-over installed. I did this because of problems with a disabled parking bay outside my house - it was being abused by neighbours across the street.

    I had installed a porous plastic water-permeable base and sprinkled some "insect-friendly" seeds bought at a local superstore. I now discover that some of these seeds are possibly already treated with insecticide!! So, be careful.

    I will give it a year, spreading the seeds from this this years growth in the Autumn, and see if I get a good crop of flowers next year. There are already a few growing that I don't recognise - which I take to be a good sign!!

  3. If there is a category for the best hedge, my husband would win hands down. People stop their cars to tell him how much they like it. The rest of the front garden, which is my responsibility, is quite boring.

    1. Your hedge is truly impressive. It’s magical contours and magnificent curves are a feast of geometric wonderment. The features are a mathematical delight that brings life from chaos to order. It is truly a masterpiece of quantum physics in action.

  4. Thank you darling, I will pass your truly effusive praise on to the architect of the hedge. And to make it even more impressive, it's all cut without the use of strings and poles. As a result of your comments, I have decided after all to enter the 'front gardens' section of the Redbridge in Bloom competition and will now endeavour to bring the rest of the front garden up to the amazing standard set by the hedge.

    Do you have a front garden that we could all visit, admire, and rhapsodise about in these columns? I would love to return the compliment.

    By the way, the architect of the hedge is the bearded gentleman to whom you very gallantly gave up your seat at the hustings.