Show garden fights paving trend

Horticulture writer to create green garden where car can be parked at show.

Garden writer Peter Seabrook has hit rubbish skips to knock up a “palette-crate” show garden as an antidote to paved front gardens. The Horticulture Week and Garden Retail columnist will use next month’s RHS London Flower Show to green-up a paved-over garden, following mounting alarm at epidemic levels of hard surfacing. Around 31sq km of front gardens have been ripped up and paved over in London, equal to 22 times the size of Hyde Park, according to London Assembly researchers. “We have spent 10 years campaigning against the concrete treatment, which is pretty well a lost cause,” Seabrook said. “So we are now trying to show how you can still have a front garden and park the car.” His 5m x 5m garden at the show on 13-14 March will be dotted with containers made from recycled palettes. New plants on display will include Camellia ‘Curly Lady’ and Rhododendron ‘Molten Gold’. “The easiest way for homeowners to handle a concreted front garden is to raid a skip and get non-returnable palettes, which also litter the countryside. Knock them apart and make containers.” Seabrook launched a prototype palette-crate design last summer at Cambridge-based Scotsdale Garden Centre, which is sponsoring this year’s show garden. Seabrook has teamed up with The Sun newspaper for the London event. The garden will include new honeycomb pavers by Marshalls. The Grass Guard slabs include cubes for growing grasses such as deep-rooted fescue. Plant suppliers included Golden Grove Nursery, Morley Nurseries and RA Meredith & Son.

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