Pink gravel, grey gravel, red gravel, white gravel, many-coloured gravel, monoblock in rows or patterns, new tarmac to cover up the bothersome ‘dirt’ (soil) and make life easier and cleaner…
It seemed to be the end of garden life, when, for ease of maintenance and supposed tidiness, gravel, monoblock and tarmac began replacing lawns, soil and beautiful flowers (do the worms below all die when covered with plastic, gravel and tarmac?)
This trend continues, and even new homes are given deserts instead of gardens. Tiny deserts of ‘hard landscaping’, surrounded, not by hedges where birds can nest, but by high wood fences so you can’t talk to your neighbours!
These deserts have few habitats for birds, beetles, bugs or bugle; no places for flowers and flower-beds; no lawn for daisies to make daisy chains (daisies and clover in the road verges are sliced off by the council); nowhere for the kids to get muddy or eat worms; nowhere for children to grow plants and pick food. And nowhere to smell the scent of wet soil, of the early morning, of roses and night-scented stock; nowhere to feel the approach of thunder; nowhere to hear the wonderful sound of bees humming in flowers.
But plants are fighting back! Look at the photographs and see what the plants have been up to in some gravel deserts.
AND – did you know that every time a garden is gravelised – fish suffer!
That sounds strange!
Every time a boat-load of gravel lands its cargo, it has removed the gravelly spawning grounds of sea bass or herring. No wonder it’s difficult to buy fresh fish from British waters any more.