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Front garden ideas

All too often we neglect our front gardens, they often become the place to park the car or to store rubbish/recycling bins. Front gardens can be a valuable opportunity to create a space that welcomes visitors, sets the mood for the house and back garden and gives a great deal of pleasure to passers- by.

There are also strong ecological reasons for retaining this green space, the need for off road parking has led to vast swathes of paved areas in urban environments this has a large negative impact on drainage systems, soil soaks up water during storms where hard areas increase runoff to an already beleaguered drainage system, there was £3.2 billion worth of flood damage during the Hereford and Worcestershire floods of 2007, a significant proportion of this was caused by paving in gardens.

Recognising the need for compromise good design should incorporate sustainable ideas that solve problems not create them, instead of a paved area for car parking use gravel, create a car port with a living roof , or plant with climbing plants, these ideas can be extended to include rain harvesting for water that can be used throughout the whole garden.

Front garden ideas

Front garden ideas

We aren’t all fortunate enough to have sweeping tree lined driveways, but with a little thought designing an area that is both attractive and functional is extremely rewarding.

The garden designer John Brookes calls the immediate area leading up to and surrounding the front door ` the doorscape`. This is the place that you and visitors see the most going in and out each day. Potential buyers are more likely to be impressed by a well ordered attractive area that can define the living space they are about to view.

Front garden ideas

Strategically placed pots or containers planted with topiary as an example can create a strong focal frame drawing the visitor in, plant aromatic plants along path edging to fill the air with scent, lavender works well as a low hedge both L Hidcot and Munstead are robust and require little work to look after them, simply pruning to shape at the end of the summer.

  Front garden ideas              Front garden ideas

Bins and recycling are not only unsightly but can be smelly as well! Consider creating an area for these by shielding them from view. A simple trellis planted with scented climbers such as honeysuckle or jasmine can transform a potential eyesore as well as encouraging all sorts of wildlife.

Plant evergreen shrubs to form a low maintenance screen or hedge, Photinia, laurel or pyrocantha are quick to establish provide cover and forage for birds, give all year round interest and are relatively easy to look after.

Front garden ideas               Front garden ideas

Planting styles vary greatly, the key to success for a well designed and planted front garden is to keep things simple. Repeated blocks of a few plants will make not just for an effective show but help to keep maintenance to a minimum.

Ornamental grasses planted in swathes are tactile, easy to keep and will provide a contemporary feel in a modern setting.

Groups of evergreen shrubs will supply all year round interest and can help to lend a more formal air to an older property

Front garden ideas