1. Planting under cars
If the car is moved fairly regularly, then there are plants you can grow that will tolerate being parked over. These need to be low-growing so the car does not brush them, and tough enough to withstand the occasional running over. Try creeping Jenny, Lysimachia nummularia; bugle, Ajuga reptans; and thymes such as Thymus serpyllum. Just leave planting pockets in the paving or gravel to ensure there is soil for them to grow in, rather than hardcore or a bed of concrete.
2. Attract wildlife
Shrubs, trees and hedges provide shelter and nesting sites for birds and insects. With careful selection they can also provide food. Birds will eat berries from plants such as pyracantha, while a wide range of insects feast on the pollen and nectar produced by flowers. Aim to have plants in bloom from early spring to late autumn, and choose open, single flowers to ensure insects have easy access to their food. Good examples include catmint, Nepeta × faassenii; honeysuckle, Lonicera periclymenum; ivy, Hedera helix cultivars; and Aster novi-belgii.
See RHS Perfect for Pollinators for more ideas.
3. Colourful containers
Pots can be placed anywhere, allowing plants to be grown in areas of the front garden that don’t have soil. For summer colour, plant bedding plants such as petunias and nicotiana in late May. These can be replaced with pansies in September to keep the display going through the winter. If you want the containers to look good for more than one season, choose evergreen shrubs and plant into pots at least 45cm (18in) wide using John Innes No.2 compost.
Containers require watering and regular maintenance to do well.
4. Climbers and screening
Climbing plants can easily be used to dress bare walls and fences with decorative foliage and flowers. Secure trellis or wires to the support posts or wall before you plant, as most climbers will need something to hang on to. Try Clematis alpina cultivars, Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris, variegated ivy cultivars, and Ceanothus such as ‘Delight’.