Residents in Annie Street, Salford did not have front gardens – the space at the front of the houses was occupied by a concrete alleyway.
Bit by bit, they started planting up the outside, and have now adopted the entire passage and made it into makeshift front gardens.
They have planted fruit trees and shrubs and installed metal arches to give the area some structure. And they have an abundance of pots, planters, raised beds, hanging baskets, seating areas and water features.
They use recycled objects as plant containers too, giving the street a personal touch.
The neighbours are a mix of ages, and everyone joins in. One of the resident’s grandsons, who has autism, loves nothing better than getting stuck in with his spade.
Resident Karen Pearson says “We just do it because we all love gardening. We are just as enthusiastic about our alleyway as other people are about their front gardens.”
“When friends visit, they are impressed by how much we have crammed into the space!”
The street won the top prize of £10,000 of National Garden Gift Vouchers. It has been crowned the Cultivation Street 2014 Overall Winner, and the Best Front Gardens in the UK.
Cultivation Street judges were impressed by their use of recycling and how much there was to see. They noted that the alleyway was full of a variety of plants and containers, giving residents and passers-by plenty to enjoy.
They also loved how the residents had made something so good out of nothing.
Karen and her neighbours were delighted by the news that they had won. “We just can’t believe it! We keep looking at the vouchers, and we’re so proud.”
They plan to spend the vouchers on materials to smarten up their alleyway, and buy lights so it is all beautifully lit at night.