With most front gardens being on display for all to see, you would think that UK gardeners would spend just as much time on them as they do on their back yard, but this is often not the case. The reasons given by many, is that they find it hard to come up with good ideas for their front garden, that the space is too small for good landscaping, or that the shape of their front garden doesn’t lend itself well to being crafted into something beautiful.
Well, I hate to say it but these excuses don’t really wash with me, as you can sculpt even the smallest and oddly shaped front gardens into masterpieces, and it doesn’t have to cost the earth to do so either.
We’re here today to share some front garden ideas for different sized gardens, for all kinds of budgets, in the hope that you find some inspiration and turn the front of your house into something to be really proud of.
Front garden ideas: low maintenance
Another reason I’ve heard on several occasions when people talk about transforming their front garden, is that they don’t have the time to properly maintain anything out of the ordinary.
I can see why some would think that it can take a lot of time and effort to keep a front garden looking great, but it doesn’t have to be that way, and a few smart choices from the start can give you a front garden that looks great without the need for you to spend every spare minute tending for it. Here are a few low maintenance front garden ideas.
Use artificial grass and gravel/pebbles
Obviously, artificial grass won’t require you to mow it and keep it trim, and if you get a little bit creative, you can create a wonderful looking front garden. Just think about a patch of artificial grass that is enclosed in a frame of gravel. It’s a simple but highly effective method, and best of all, it requires virtually no maintenance. On top of that, your garden will look pretty much the same in winter as it does in summer.
Getting rid of the front lawn and paving your front garden will certainly cut back the time you need to tend it, and a paved front garden doesn’t have to look sterile. You can still have plants in pots to give you that touch of green. Combining paving with gravel or pebble borders that are lined with strategically placed potted plants can look incredible, especially if the paving is a lighter colour to contrast with the green of the plants.
Succulents are well known for their drought resistance, so if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t get around to watering too often, these are probably the type of plants for you to have in pots in your front garden. These plants are not only hardy, they can give your front garden a contemporary look, especially when combined with the two ideas we just outlined above.
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Front garden ideas: Small gardens
You don’t need a huge space in the front of your house in order to create something to make your neighbours jealous of. Even if your front garden is particularly small, there are a few tricks you can try that will help you make the most of what you have.
Use hanging baskets and trellises.
If space on the ground is limited, why not make the most of your vertical areas? Planting hanging baskets with a brightly coloured array of flowers, or having wall trellises by the front door, are just two of the ways in which people with smaller gardens choose to improve the entrance to their home.
Layout can create the illusion of space
One clever trick that I’ve seen implemented in smaller gardens, is the use of paving stones, laid out in an uncommon manner, to create the illusion of space. One of the most effective ways is to set the paving stones in a sharp ‘s’ shape that winds around a couple of small flower beds lined with short hedges. This helps to break up the direct path to the front door, and thereby makes you feel like the garden is larger than it actually is.
Have one main centrepiece
Having too much in a small front garden can make it look cluttered and messy if you are not careful, so it might be a good idea to keep things simple and just have one main centrepiece. For example, a single lollipop tree surrounded by coloured pebbles that is bordered with small hedges. Or simply a single border running down the side of the garden path that has a nice combination of small trees interspersed with bulbs.
You could also have a small water feature as your centrepiece, but you will have to think about the size of it and how it’ll fit in your garden, or it could end up being an eyesore. A simple garden bench is another wonderful centrepiece for your smaller front garden, and one that will not need any maintenance apart from a lick of wood stain or paint.
Front garden ideas- large gardens
If you’re one of the fortunate ones that have a good-sized front garden, the sky’s the limit when it comes to design ideas. Of course, cost will certainly come into it, but there are a few ways to improve a large front garden without emptying your bank account or having to max out your credit cards, and here a few of them.
Rounding off the edges of your lawn and planting flowers along the borders will soften the overall feel to your front garden. You can also create a paved garden path that follows the contours of your newly rounded lawn to make everything blend well together.
Larger gardens can benefit greatly by a clever use of symmetry. This can be done in a number of ways, such as having either side of your driveway or path planted with the same plants and trees, or you could have two to four large, matching, features that mirror each other.
Use large pots
If you’ve got the space, why not go all out when it comes to pots? Extra-large, ornamental pots might look out of place in smaller gardens, but can look fantastic in bigger properties. Larger pots allow you to plant larger plants, or have more variety of smaller plants in a single pot, giving you lots of things to think about and experiment with.