By Denise Julien
Fitzrovia has some areas with very wide pavements that we can either allow the media industry to litter with phone kiosks and advertising boards, or we can create green spaces with floral-lawns and rain-gardens.
A Rain Garden is an urban-greening-alternative that absorbs carbon dioxide and excessive rain. A floral lawn is made up of a patchwork of various plants and weeds such as daisies, red-flowering clover, thyme, chamomile, pennyroyal and Corsican mint. This provides a better habitat for pollinating insects, including bees, than traditional grass, and has a better survival rate, as the varying plants react differently to different climates, ensuring that some will not die in adverse weather. Combining a rain garden with a floral lawn gives the best possible outcome. Furthermore, this floral lawn is easy and cheap to maintain, requiring to be mowed only five times per year.
Residents of Holcroft Court are near to starting this in Carburton Street, and hope to continue all the way round Clipstone Street and Great Titchfield Street. The added benefit for Holcroft Court is that the pavements slant inwards towards the building, causing flooding in heavy rain, an increasing problem of our climate change. And, there are many broken slabs caused by bad drivers parking on the wide pavements. Replacing them with greening rather than more pavement slabs, not only makes more sense, it will also block the way for illegal pavement parking.
Holcroft Court already has a large garden inside the courtyard, and so, the maintenance of this extra strip would be minimal as we have the gardeners and tools at hand. Westminster Council say that no planning permission is required for rain gardens, so, it’s a matter of getting in first before the advertisers. Once Carburton Street is completed, I’ll be looking to raise money for the rest.
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