The UpFront Gardens Project - ...edible and wildlife friendly gardens which are right up your street!
We work with Cardiff residents to help them turn their front gardens into beautiful, productive growing spaces.
UpFront Gardens has the twin aims of growing food and increasing biodiversity in highly built up urban areas.
The idea is to create productive front gardens in urban areas involving as many people as possible in the one street. The beauty of the plan is that each front garden will be primarily created and looked after by individual households but at the same time it will be a neighbourhood project where residents will discuss ideas, help each other and together create a street initiative which is about producing food, improving biodiversity and enhancing the attractiveness of their own neighbourhood. So it has all of the advantages that a private garden offers with all the advantages that a community project can bring.
Straightaway we have a sustainable way of growing food and improving biodiversity that is not reliant on volunteers and continuous project management but which still increases community connectivity, friendships and goodwill.
Liz Court and Michele Fitzsimmons are the drivers behind UpFront Gardens who kick started the UpFront Gardens approach by installing a model UpFront garden (which was sponsored by Café Direct) in Liz's front garden.
As it matured it has received a lot of positive comments and genuine interest from Liz's neighbours.
To get things moving forward and to start testing how the idea will work we have initiated a small pilot in Liz’s' street involving six households. This is going extremely well with everyone involved signed up to the UpFront gardens approach. We will be giving regular updates on how things are progressing on our page.
We are also making progress on other fronts and are in discussion with community groups in Splott and Grangetown.
UpFront is flexible, if you are a residents or community group with fundraising capability, we can provide you with advice on raising the funds in order to enable the UpFront garden creations to be free or subsidised. We can also create the project for individuals within streets with no funding where householders are happy to pay for the garden design and installation directly.
With all privately funded gardens we will be putting a percentage of the income received from this back into gardens where households need financial help to create their gardens.
Liz and Michele bring a great combination of skills to this initiative. Michele has over twenty years experience in garden design and installation and have designed numerous private gardens along with several notable community gardens (Chapter Arts Centre, Adamsdown Community Garden and Denmark Community Wildlife Garden to name a few).
Liz brings her invaluable knowledge of working with communities and has been a key and important player in community development in Wales for over twenty years.
If you think that UpFront Gardens could work for you and your street we’d love to hear from you. Please contact us for a chat and we can go from there.