42 front garden ideas for the ultimate kerb appeal

From flower beds to footpaths and tiles to topiary, this is how to make the best first impression your home can offer

Herbaceous border leading up to end of terrace house
(Image credit: Future PLC)

One of the first things that people see about our homes is what we've done with out front garden ideas. Add to that that it's the thing that'll be greeting you when you return home every day, neglecting this piece of outdoor space can be a wasted opportunity in many cases.

While most garden ideas focus on the rear of our homes, there are plenty of ways to spruce up your front garden and have it looking its best, even if you’re on a budget or aren’t particularly green fingered.

‘For many people, our front gardens give visitors a first glimpse into our homes, therefore it’s important to ensure that the initial impression is as welcoming and beautiful as the rest of the space,' agrees Melanie Hick, garden designer at MHGD, Melanie Hick.

Whether you’re blessed with plenty of space to really get creative or simply have enough room to set up a bistro or seating area where you can sit and enjoy the good weather, no matter the size of your front garden, there are many ways to make it look attractive and add some of your personality to it.

Front garden ideas

Just because the footprint of our front garden can be a bit – or sometimes, much – smaller than even small back garden ideas, this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t give them the same care and attention.

From bigger jobs to ones that you can complete in an afternoon, get ready to transform what is often an underutilised and unappreciated outdoor space.

1. Think about what you need

Brick townhouse with patio and small planted area

(Image credit: Future PLC/Rachael Smith)

Not every home suits - or needs - grass based front garden ideas. Some properties, such as townhouses, really need to make the most out of this space for other practicalities like wheelie bin storage or access to basement entrances. 

In this cases, stick to paving and carve out a small section for either pots or a topiary display. If the area needs a little more energy, a few window boxes or pots on wills will provide low-maintenance pops of colour.

2. Get lit

Grey front door flanked by topiary and wall lights

(Image credit: Amos Lighting)

As with your other outdoor spaces, garden lighting should be taken into account. 'We’d recommend adding lighting to highlight specific areas like garden fences or your porch — creating a welcoming ambiance,' says David Amos, Founder, Amos Lighting. 'Choose energy-efficient lighting that is suitable for outdoor use and ones which complement the style of your home.'

Make sure to think about how light will add security and ease to your home as well as style. 'Consider wall lights either side of the door or possibly a recessed spotlight from above for a porch,' suggests Piero De Marchis, Director, Detail Lighting

'If you are opting for one light, place it on the side where the keyhole and door handle are as it will make it easier when unlocking your door. Above all, ensure it is warm, inviting and makes guests feel safe.'

3. Plant a fragrant border

Herbaceous border leading up to end of terrace house

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Gardens can please all the senses, so remember not to look at visuals for your front garden ideas and call it a day. Scent is so important to creating the atmosphere in a space and can elevate moods in seconds.

Looking for garden border ideas? Planting fragrant herbs and flowers along you path will welcome you home delightfully everyday. Think lavender, sage and primrose. If you're not sure what plants go well together, pick up a ready made scented garden border from Crocus.

4. Have a little bit of everything

Front of house with flower bed, lawn and path

(Image credit: Future PLC)

There are so many elements that make up gorgeous gardens that sometimes you just want a bit of everything - and there's absolutely no reason why you can't have that. 

'One idea is to keep your lawn ideas well-maintained by regularly mowing and trimming it to keep it neat and tidy,' explains Chris from Gardening Express. 'Another option is to add some plant life to your garden, such as colourful flowers or shrubs. Additionally, you may want to consider installing a garden path or walkway to create a more defined space within your garden.'

5. Create a colour scheme

Red front door with acer tree and potted plants

(Image credit: Future PLC)

We love a good colour scheme indoors, so why not bring one out? Create a co-ordinated front garden look with plants, flowers and accessories based around the same tones.

A brightly coloured front door is a great place to start, then add in pots with flowers, a climber or shrub and even path tiles.

6. Create a rock garden

Front of house with rock garden and gravel pathway

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dan Duchars)

‘A rock garden is a wonderful way to display small alpine plants at the front of your property,’ says PriceYourJob.co.uk’s gardening expert, Harry Bodell. And we have to agree.

There are plenty of variations on rock garden ideas but basically, you’ll be looking to ‘combine decorative rocks, bark chippings and drought-tolerant plants to create a low-maintenance front garden.’ 

While they are more suited to front gardens that ‘face south, as most of these plants enjoy full sun,' adds Harry. 'There are shade-tolerant plants that you can use so a rock garden is still possible even if your house faces north.'

7. Embrace your curves

House with circular patio, lawn and gravel sections

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

There's the typical idea of a front garden like a child would draw - a simple square lawn with flower beds in front of a square house. But just because it's traditional you don't gave to stick to these shapes. 

Mix things up with concentric circles of lawn, paving and even flower beds to add extra interest and a new dimension to the entrance of your home.

8. Change it with the seasons

Green door with wreath and Virginia Creeper

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Just as with styling your indoor space, you can have fun changing up your front garden ideas with the seasons. A festive wreath, zinc tubs filled with freshly foraged foliage and pots holding seasonal blooms will do the trick.

9. Utilise hanging baskets

Blue front door with floral hanging baskets on both sides

(Image credit: Getty Images)

‘Hanging baskets are a simple way to brighten up your front garden and can be particularly effective if you have limited space,’ says Tom Clifford, director of Gardenstone.

While there are a number of hanging basket mistakes to avoid, this type of gardening allows you to make the most of the vertical space available to you.

‘You can hang them either side of your door or garage to frame the area and add a pop of colour,’ Tom adds. When it comes to how to make a small front garden look bigger, incorporating flowers vertically will naturally draw the eye upwards and create the illusion of a more expansive space.

10. Go for naturalistic borders

front garden with glass door and green plant

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

Take inspiration from meadows and wild areas of nature when setting out borders to hit the garden trends. Choose a selection of plants, varying in heights, colours and textures. To get the balance right, set the plants out in pots before committing to digging and planting.

Remember that plants spread outwards and well as up, so be sure to leave ample room between each plantling.

11. Swap a fence for a hedge

front garden with glass window and brick wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Whitmore)

Most terraced and semi-detached homes use front garden ideas to separate the space. The most common in urban areas is a wall or garden fence ideas, but a simple switch to a hedge will add interest, good looks and extra privacy.

The most common choice is Boxwood, which offers dense leave that are easily pruned into shape.

12. Create a natural archway

exterior of garden with wooden fence and white window

(Image credit: Future PLC/Oliver Gordon)

For cottage garden ideas, the front of the house has to be taken into account with front garden ideas. The house and garden should appear to flow into one another. One way to achieve this is by training a climbing plant to create a natural arch over the front door or porch.

As well as looking pretty, this will act as shelter when you're fumbling for your keys on a damp day.

13. Include raised beds

pink flower with green tree and shrub

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

Raised beds shouldn't be confined to the back garden. If you're looking for low-maintenance easy garden ideas, they can be the perfect addition to a front space. Plant largely evergreen shrubs, but include some seasonal perennials to ensure bursts of colour throughout the year.

This style is also great if your home is on a hill, as you can build the beds above one another like steps.

14. Add a pop of colour

exterior of house with brick wall white door and car

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

With a neatly elegant front flower bed, it's tempting to stick to evergreens so you're not left with unsightly patches of brown or empty spots. Integrate a plant or two in a serious burst of colour for that added joy - simply plant slightly behind the others if you don't like how it looks without blooms.

Alternatively, add in a couple of pots that you can switch in and out with the seasons.

15. Try a mirror

Exterior of house with mirror beside door

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Mirrors are a great way to make spaces seem bigger. But have you ever considered using one in your front garden? Well, Elaine Penhaul, founder of home staging company Lemon and Lime suggests doing exactly that, not only to make the space feel bigger but to add some instant visual interest.

‘They work in both front and back gardens but would work best in a private front garden,’ according to Elaine. ‘Putting more than one mirror together and framing it with climbing plants will soften the edges and help to create a cohesive look.’ Plus, this can be a rather inexpensive update to make, especially handy if you’re on a budget.

16. Encourage climbers

exterior of house with blue door and green plant

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

Climbers are a pretty way to add interest to the front of your home. There are so many options of easy climbing plant ideas to choose between, from floral clematis to traditional ivy. Speak to your local garden centre for advice on which varieties work best in your area's soil and will adapt best to the positioning of your building.

17. Add pattern with a tiled path

exterior of house with red door tiles and brick wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/Oliver Gordon)

Just as with inside the home, the ground is a perfect opportunity to add colour and pattern. With developing techniques and technology it's now possible to get nearly any tile design in an outdoor appropriate materials for your garden path.

Just remember that while some tiles may be suitable for outdoor use but will get slippy, so ensure you speak to your supplier to make sure they will be safe to walk on in inclement conditions.

18. Play with textures

exterior of house with black door pink flower and glass window

(Image credit: Future PLC/James French)

Most people head straight to mixing colours when trying to add character with front garden ideas, but there's a lot to be said for texture, too. 

Mix and match plants with different shapes and sized leaves - from long and wide to tiny and narrow. This is a great way to achieve year-round interest when using only evergreen plants.

19. Add a water feature

Wooden water feature in garden

(Image credit: Future PLC)

There are actually a number of different benefits to adding a water feature to your front garden. From blocking out external noise such as traffic, making it ideal for homes on busy streets, to attracting wildlife to your front garden, they can transform even the most underutilised outdoor space into an oasis.

‘Not only are water features visually appealing, but they can also transform your front garden into a calming sensory experience,' explains Marlena Kaminska, designer at ValueLights. 'The gentle sound of flowing water will greet you on your return home, helping you to transition away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.'

20. Invite a picturesque path to add character

wooden pathway with stone and white flower

(Image credit: Future PLC/Bridget Peirson)

Set the scene with a wooden decked pathway leading up to front door. This rustic wooden design infilled with pebbles offers a softer approach to a front garden path, rather than paving slabs and brick alternatives. 

The look can be soften even further with thoughtful planting either side of the path with wild overgrown foliage, plants and lavender. Link this to the rear of the home by choosing similar garden decking ideas for there, too.

21. Hide bins with a wheelie bin store

front garden with hedge hiding wheelie bin

(Image credit: Future PLC/Brent Darby)

If you don’t have a lot of outdoor space to begin with or are limited to a front garden only, it can be tricky to think where to place something essential – such as your wheelie bin storage. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not possible to do so in a more aesthetically pleasing way.

While ‘a collection of wheelie bins and recycling boxes can immediately bring down the look of even the nicest of front gardens you can hide bins using a wooden bin store or sit them behind some trellis that also doubles as a planting feature to keep your front garden looking clutter-free,' suggests Furniturebox’s product development lead, Laura Rich.

22. Curate a corner of thoughtful planting

exterior of house with glass window and plants

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Parmiter)

Give your driveway a modest planting scheme to add a manageable front garden to pretty up the exterior of your home. Carve out a corner bedding arrangement to plant a mix of perennial green foliage and seasonal flowering shrubs such as Hydrangeas to add a splash of colour.

Use a trellis to extending the planting vertically, to flank the doorway and make the most of the compact corner plot. 

23. Keep the lawn short and formal

exterior of house with potted plant and green lawn

(Image credit: Future PLC/Brent Darby)

Clipped short and edged by a smart path, a formal lawn is one of the most loved and copied aspects of an English garden, creating the perfect approach to a house with country shutters.

24. Lay a brick path, lined with pretty pots

exterior of front garden with green plant and brick path

(Image credit: Future PLC/Trevor Richards)

Set out a brick path as a stylish country approach to the front door, flanking it with a medley of pots in varied shapes and sizes, including a tall, shapely planter.

25. Plant tactical topiary for privacy

exterior of house with brick wall and blue door

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

If your small front garden doesn't offer much in the way of an outdoor space, use it to cultivate a garden that offers privacy – especially important if your house resides by the roadside, directly on the pavement.

Topiary is a great way to create your own piece of living architecture to create a shelter from the outside world. Add topiary balls by the front door to compliment the boxwood topiary hedge.

26. Dress the windowsill

exterior of house with white door and glass window

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

You can keep things simple but still make it stylish and inviting by focusing on a healthy lawn, a few simple bushes and potted flower arrangements for the windowsills. This idea is perfect to dress the exterior but also provides a pretty view through the window from indoors too.

27. Landscape a layout

exterior of house with garden and black door

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Still)

You can use garden landscapingo to create elegant front garden ideas which require minimal upkeep. Paving, decorative edging and a healthy olive tree may be simple, but they're incredibly effective (and expensive looking) when used together.

28. Create a balanced pot arrangement

exterior of house with stone wall and garden fence

(Image credit: Future PLC/Keith Henderson)

Potted plants allow you to create a striking display of colour for the front of your home, no matter the size of plot. Display a mix of hardy plants that will withstand the elements, when not sheltered by surrounding garden fences and dense greenery.

29. Encourage a climbing wisteria

exterior of house with green lawn stone wall and blue door

(Image credit: Future PLC /Jody Stewart)

There are very few plants that ooze charm more than the faithful wisteria plant, a deciduous climber with large pinnate, dark green leaves and drooping racemes up to 1m in length. The fragrant lilac flowers, which bloom in early summer, add a flourish of colour while offering a floral scent to welcome you through the front door. 

It's important to prune wisteria to control the size and prevent it growing into guttering and windows. Pruning also encourages the growth of the flower buds. wisteria is best used where it they can grow freely, unimpeded by other branches or foliage.

30. Flank the front door with potted bay trees

front garden with potted plant stone wall and porch

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

Make a smart entrance by placing a pair of clipped standard bay trees either side of the front door. Painted trellis flanks this country porch, shading the doorway and providing a home for climbing plants.

31. Use gravel for an informal and secure front garden

front garden with gravel patio potted plant and white flower

(Image credit: Future PLC/Debbie Patterson)

Gather together a selection of old lead planters to make a feature on a gravelled patio. Plant them up with bay, scented lavender and cheerful colourful pansies.

If you're looking to add security to your home, gravel is a good idea as it will crunch as anyone approaches the door or window. As well as looking - and sounding - great, this is a popular choice from budget garden ideas.

32. Try cottage garden planting in a tight space

front garden with spearhead railing white door and flower

(Image credit: Future PLC /Pernille Pahle)

The smallest patch can provide a home to growing plants. Tucked behind the spearhead railings, there's just enough room for a scented rose and a selection of cottage garden plants.

33. Pick low-maintenance plants for colour

entrance with potted plant and white door

(Image credit: Future PLC /Simon Whitmore)

If your front garden ideas are looking tired why not put aside a few hours for a quick revamp? It'll be worth it to create an entrance you can be proud of. Above all, a front garden should be easy to keep looking tidy.

Unless you have lots of time, aim for fuss-free landscaping and low-maintenance plants. 'A lot of people don’t enjoy looking after their front gardens as they feel on show so low maintenance shrubs such as Choisya and Viburnums work well,' advises Chris from Gardening Express.

34. Build up a formal facade with multi-height topiary

exterior of house with front garden and potted plant

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

Topiary bushes aren't cheap, however - from around £80 for a pair of simple ball-shaped bushes to well over £200 for a pair of spiral designs. Water regularly, and consider chaining your plant pots to railings to ensure that opportunistic thieves don't make off with your precious plants.

Trim plants in June and August for best results. Get into a routine of applying slow-release fertiliser granules every three months and re-potting every two years.

35. Keep it neat with a smart and simple footpath

house exterior with white walls and lawn area

(Image credit: Future PLC /Jamie Mason)

Keep soil and grass from being walked into your hallway with a simple garden path, which can be an attractive feature of your front garden ideas in its own right. Use materials that suit your home; so if you have brick walls and a slate roof, consider using brick edging and slate paving.

White pebbles or gravel will highlight your route as it gets dark, and the crunching underfoot will alert you to a visitor's arrival. You can lay new gravel (from £3 per bag) yourself if the path isn't too long, but you might need to get the professionals in to lay paving. If so, obtain three quotes for the work and expect to pay £20 to £60 per sq m.

36. Deck an American-style porch

decking area with swing porch and cushion

(Image credit: Future PLC /Simon Scarboro)

Decking is a great way to add character to your front garden design. A raised decking area with a porch swing is a quintessentially American style which translates just as well across the pond.

37. Paint a picket fence

front garden with picket fence and paint pot

(Image credit: Future PLC /Allun Calendar)

What could be more charming than a country home surrounded by a white picket fence you ask? A country home with a coloured painted picket fence that's what. If you've got any paint pot samples lurking in the back of your cupboards then this is the perfect way to make use of them.

38. Make a feature of a tree with a round bench

front garden with grass and green trees

(Image credit: Future PLC /Polly Eltes)

Wooden tree benches are are quirky seating solution you'll love, and are perfect for those who want to get back nature. You can pick up pre-made designs from as little as £150 - or potentially even less if you make use of garden discount codes.

Alternatively, if you're a competent DIYer there's are a number of instructional videos on YouTube showing you how to make wooden tree benches from old pallets and more.

39. Set a bench next to the door so you can enjoy the view

front garden with white metal bench and brick wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/Brent Darby)

A charming painted metal garden bench placed before the door is the perfect place to sit and reflect and soak in your front garden ideas, especially if it's set in a spot that catches the sun.

The best garden furniture also gives you somewhere to remove dirty shoes after a long walk in the country.

40. Use pebbles outside a coastal home

front garden with succulent potted plant and stone facade

(Image credit: Future PLC /Jason Ingram)

Pairing cabbage rose succulents with large stones brings a beach feel to this front garden, which works surprisingly well against the stone facade.

41. Plant rose bushes for a country look

exterior of house with white fence and flowering plant

(Image credit: Future PLC /David Morrison)

Complete a country home in picturesque style by including white-painted picket gates to mark the entrance to a charming floral-bordered driveway.

42. Fill a forecourt with a large-scale potted display

front garden with white wall and flowering plant

(Image credit: Future PLC /Torie Chugg)

A proliferation of pots and troughs greets visitors to this charming white-painted home. Set out on the gravel forecourt, the unstructured arrangement can be added to or reorganised whenever the owners please.


How can I make my front garden look nice?

You can make your front garden look nice with simple measures and taking the time to tend to it, with as much gusto as your would the back garden. Lay a defined path to make the entrance feel more inviting and thought out. 

Ensure if you have a lawn it's well tended so it looks it's best all year round. Edge the lawn or gravel frontage with evergreen foliage that will look gloriously green throughout the seasons, adding annual bedding and plant to welcome a splash of more vibrant colour during the spring and summer months. 

How do you build a low maintenance front garden?

'There are low upkeep and slow growing seed mixes which requires much less mowing than most grass seed types,' says Chris Mcllroy, lawn expert at The Grass People. 'Ideal for those of us who are looking for a low-maintenance lawn, the seeds are particularly good for lawns that are shaded, plus they'll be hard wearing, drought tolerant and can grow well in low nutrient conditions.'

For the most low-maintenance approach, opt for a gravel or paved frontage instead. Another great way to ensure your plot is low maintenance is by carefully selecting plants that are hardy and require little to no effort to stay green and thriving all year round – border shrubs such as leylandii and potted bay trees, which can withstand the low winter temperatures surprisingly well.

How do you take care of a front garden?

According to Chris from The Grass People, there are three main areas to keep in mind for caring for a front lawn.

  • Fertilisation: 'A good idea is to fertilise twice a year. Give your grass a boost in spring and again in autumn and you will have a strong summer lawn and grass that is prepared for winter. By feeding your lawn twice a year you will provide your lawn with the nutrients that it needs to fight off diseases and keep your lawn looking green.'
  • Drainage: 'If your front lawn has poor drainage there is a risk that it may become waterlogged for hours and in some cases even days and if this isn’t improved it can lead to other complications for your lawn’s health. The most common causes for water build up is the absorbability of your lawn’s soil or the landscaping.'
  • Aeration: 'Aeration can improve the flow of water and air and reduce surface buildup, you can also change the nature of your coil with organic materials to get the desired drainage levels. Aeration is performed by creating small holes in the soil and can be done using a garden fork but usually works better with specially made tools.'
  • Mowing: 'Typical mowing season in the UK is between February and October however with warmer winters in recent years we have also seen grass growth during this time. It’s best to only remove one third of a grass's length when mowing, and to ensure a clean cut it’s best if your mower has sharp blades as otherwise you could potentially pull up parts of your lawn. Avoid mowing when your soil or grass is wet as this can also cause damage to your lawn.'

How do I make my front garden look good on a budget?

You don’t need to spend a fortune to update your front garden, especially as there are a number of budget-friendly options to choose from. For example, ‘gravel is a relatively cheap material and you can choose from a huge variety of colours and sizes to cover your front garden,’ suggests gardening expert Harry.

‘Potted plants are also easy to swap so you can alter the look of your front garden as the seasons change or as the blooms fade. This keeps your garden looking fresh and vibrant all year round.’

You can also keep an eye out for deals at your local garden centre or supermarket or why not ‘head to your local recycling centre and look out for anything that you could upcycle and use in your front garden such as furniture, pots or even rocks,’ Harry continues.

No matter how small or large your space or budget there's a way to keep your front garden ideas in as good a shape as the rest of your home – have fun seeing what works for yours!


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street. 

With contributions from