Leading from the front garden

A front garden in Leytonstone

Rupert Alexander invites Leytonstoners to help make their streets a little greener

Over the past few months myself and Ros Kane have been on the look out for front gardens to admire in south Leytonstone.

Together we created Cann Hall Beautiful Front Gardens Society and put a ‘certificate of excellence’ through the letterboxes of the loveliest gardens we found; the most colourful, good use of space, the most carefully looked after, and the ones with a pleasing design or ‘kerb appeal’.

The society is a follow-up from a garden competition we used to co-organise in partnership with East London Garden Society, which encouraged residents to spruce up their neighbourhoods. All front gardens in Cann Hall and Cathall wards, whether large or small, were inspected and shortlisted to win cash prizes.

Although the competition is no longer happening, our aim is for the society to be an enduring gathering of interested neighbours and residents wishing to get involved and do their bit to inspire their local communities.

We want to encourage our fellow residents to take pride in the area and ‘go to town’ with pots, planters, window boxes, balcony displays and hanging baskets. It does take a bit of effort, but beautiful front gardens make an enormous difference when you walk down the street, and can bring a smile to your face and a spring to your step.

Through the competition, we were invited to look at the back gardens of some very skilled gardeners. Others told us how they were “amazed”, “surprised” and “delighted” to receive a certificate.

One big problem is the existence of people’s huge wheelie bins, one each for general waste, dry recycling, and garden waste. Some gardens were gorgeous but because of the bins we couldn’t see them properly! One suggestion would be to share bins with a neighbour, as is done in Matcham Road, or to ask Waltham Forest Council for the smallest ones.

We are constantly thinking of more ways to improve and maintain our environment. Bringing people together and supporting each other promotes cohesion, growing communities, and nurtured neighbourhoods. We look forward to hearing from and meeting others to have conversations, sharing thoughts and ideas to develop and progress our new society.

Find out more and get involved with Cann Hall Beautiful Front Gardens Society:
Call 020 8555 5248
Email roskane@btinternet.com
Call 07940 158 582
Email rupert.alexander9150@yahoo.com