This July, a front garden design featuring Enviromat sedum matting won the highest award at the Sandringham Flower Show in Norfolk.

A rural gardening show with Royal connections

The Sandringham show is organised by the Royal Household and visited every year by representatives of the Royal Family.  This year it was Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall who admired exhibitors' skills and creativity.

HRH Prince Charles talks to Paul Welford at Sandringham Flower Show 2017

HRH Prince Charles chats to winning garden designer Paul Welford in the lea of a green roofed car port


The winning design at 2017's Sandringham Show took pride of position in the Royal Marquee. It was designed by Paul Welford and constructed by Thistlefield Plants and Design.

Innovative ideas for Urban Front Gardens

Aptly named "The Row", Paul's design simulates three terraced houses in a row. Each with a small front garden that is used for parking space. The gardens demonstrate innovative ways of making room for a vehicle without losing visual interest or valuable wildlife habitat.

timber car port with living green roof

This car port allows plenty of light into house and garden and the green roof compensates for having dug up the lawn to provide parking space.


In the first garden, Enviromat Sedum Matting from Harrowden Turf Ltd has been used to put a living green roof on a timber-built car port. One of the issues with paving over gardens is porosity. The living roof soaks up a good proportion of the rain to fall on it.  The rest is absorbed by the shingle surface beneath. The design and placement of the car port allows light into the front windows of the house and gives a stunning view from upstairs windows. The green roof also creates interest for wildlife.

small car parked on turntable in front garden

This innovative turntable is ideal for a small car and is a fabulous compromise between using the front garden for parking yet retaining a natural lawn and plenty of welcoming planting.


In other reatures, a car turntable eliminates the need to reverse onto a busy road and an oval pathway allows heavy motorbikes to be turned around easily.

All three gardens offer maximum opportunities for planting.  Which makes the street interesting and inviting as well as practical.


 Further Reading

Why create a green roof?  More information on the benefits of green roofing.


Green Roof Gallery.  Images of small green roofs created using Enviromat sedum matting