Decorum is the refinement of propriety. It is in order to procure stable-dung for hot-beds; it is proper to do this at all times when it is wanted, but it is decorous to have the work performed early in the morning, that the putrescent vapours and dropping litter may not prove offensive to the master of the garden, should he, or any of his family or friends, visit the scene.
John Claudius Loudon Encyclopedia of Gardening (1822)
How to cope with the escalating demand for off street parking is a major urban issue. The severe flooding that assails the United Kingdom with ever-increasing regularity has in part been attributed to the problems of urbanisation and increasing run-off. Water has to go somewhere and if it cannot be absorbed into the ground because of concrete and tarmac, it will either pond, flood or flow until it finds somewhere to go. Urban stormwater systems are not built to drain all the water away, merely the excess water.
There are commercial products designed to give a firm base for car parking while still allowing drainage and ground absorption. Laid properly, the area can still be mowed or raked. Even sealed areas need maintenance, whether by sweeping or the use of a leaf blower. This midway position is a much sounder option environmentally, as well as being softer to the eye than expanses of seal.
First published in the Waikato Times and reprinted here with their permission.