Why flowers are better than car parks

I was out in the front garden looking for joys for #SixonSaturday and was overcome by all the beauty of the flowers and bees. Time for my annual ‘why do people cover their front gardens in paving when they can have all this instead?’ blog post. Here are six pictures which I hope will explain why flowers are better than car parks

  1. Osteospermum with self-seeded Canterbury bells and a Small White butterfly

2. Wild roses with more self-seeded Canterbury Bells

3. Bee on self-seeded lavender

4. Cherries – almost ripe – need to pick them before the blackbirds get them

5. Self-seeded teasel

6. Bird bath (much used though not in this picture) surrounded by self-seeded oregano and more wild roses, rowan tree (grown from a found seedling) reflected in the water

There was more – much more – with bees on almost every flwoer. It’s all buzzing with life and so so different from the car park which the previous owners had in this space. Here’s what it looked like in 2010 just after I’d started planting through the paving

For me this is all about the joy of flowers and bees but there’s a serious point here. Climate change is real. We need to stop paving over our land to fuel our car use. Instead we need to use it for nature to flourish. I’ve been going on about this in my small way for nine years on the blog now but it feels more urgent than ever.

Rant over – here’s my five bees and a butterfly from my twitter six on Saturday

13 thoughts on “Why flowers are better than car parks

  1. You rant away, I totally agree! It is terrible around here, with even more fronts being dug up as an offering to the Great God Motorcar. Makes me very sad. Don’t even get me on plastic grass! Anyway, on a more positive note, your front garden looks lovely. Keep on keeping on x

  2. Here, here!
    As well as reducing run-off (and therefore, flooding), and helping to alleviate our on-going annihilation of other species; plants and natural environments help improve our own psychological well-being. Unfortunately, most people don’t seem to have grasped all this. Well done for turning your block-paved dead space into a beautiful garden. You’re a trailblazer!

  3. So important! I despair around here when I see more and more front gardens disappear under paving or even worse impervious tarmac. Sometimes with a tiny patch of plastic ‘grass’ in case the insult to the environment wasn’t already enough.
    On the plus side, there’s a great little organisation here in Bath encouraging and supporting people to green their front gardens 💚💚💚💚

  4. Aside from the loveliness of flowers, herbs, trees, birds and bees, definitely agree that we need to consider climate change. I have a few friends who have replaced their grass with plastic lawns instead and I imagine once they’re worn out they’ll end up in landfill. I’m also very aware of how much water earth absorbs, definitely something to consider in flood prone areas.

  5. I take it, perhaps wrongly, that you don’t have a car. The problem is not the car parks but the cars. If you have a car, you have to dump it somewhere for the huge amount of time that you are not using it. As a cyclist, I am very much against dumping cars on public highways. You can have car parking spaces that have flowers too but the the only answer is to get people to stop wanting to own cars. That is a big problem requiring joined up thinking from politicians, good national newspaper leadership, and some willingness to give up things that you think you need from the public. Don’t hold your breath.

    1. Thanks – yes, no car in this household. I have been car free for most of my adult life apart from a couple of years when my children were tiny. I agree if fewer people had cars there would be no need for this. However, my front garden was completely paved over by my predecessors, well beyond the needs of a single car owner. It’s a big task to change behaviour but I’ll keep nibbling away, one flower at a time. 🙂

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