On the subject of wet weather and flooding (see July 6th's entry), it's worth considering a rather topical Royal Horticultural Society report writes Martin Fiddes.

It's clear from the in-depth research conducted by the RHS that paving your front garden does add to the risk of localised flooding, and with many developers on new-build sites leaving both front and back gardens as a blank canvas, the option to lay stones is a tempting one.

Perhaps some of these house building giants, who claim to help the environment in many diverse ways, could slap a 'no paving' clause on new homes and insist that homeowners retain lawns for at least a set period after purchasing the property.

And why not go a step further by enlisting the help of landscaping experts, who, after a plot has been sold, prepare the gardens to the clients' specifications - after all, this can be done for kitchens, bathrooms and other areas, so why not the garden?

Even if your front garden has been converted to concrete for necessity, there are still many ways to introduce some colour and even grow some vegetables and herbs - spud tubs, decorative pots and even strawberry towers are all available and will more than likely benefit from the 'sun-trap' factor and increased temperatures that stone driveways offer.

And finally, let's make sure we're not the generation who 'paved' the way to front garden oblivion!