No garden grabbing ban

The decision to dismiss an attempt to ban so-called "garden grabbing" has sparked outrage in the horticulture world.

The term refers to instances where development projects end up encroaching on gardens and open spaces, or building over them entirely.

Shadow communities and local government secretary Julia Goldsworty, whose Conservative party peers had called for the ban, expressed her deep disappointment that it was going to be left to those who own their own gardens and greenhouses to keep some green space in city areas.

"Communities are rightly concerned that the character of their areas is being adversely and irreparably affected by developments in gardens and open spaces," she told Horticulture Week.

"It is a travesty that much-needed green space in urban areas is lumped into the category of brownfield land, and that the government is insisting that there is not a problem."

Gardeners will be all too aware of the importance of plant life in protecting towns and cities from the risk of flood.

Green spaces with plenty of trees and plants absorb flood water and building hard-surface developments over them strips the area of the flood-protection benefits.

Meanwhile, an historic greenhouse in Birminghams Cannon Hill Park has been demolished after the local council decided it would cost too much to repair.