Front garden ideas – how to make the most of your bonus garden space

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  • Your front garden is the first thing you – and your visitors – see. A well tended to lawn, characterful porch or striking floral display can immediately lift a house’s facade and add instant curb appeal.

    Alternatively, an enclosed front garden can also help foster a sense of privacy and security, incorporating distance between the public and private spheres.

    Above all, the front garden sets the tone and character of your house, so it makes sense that you should want to create a space that embodies that. After all, everybody likes to make a good first impression.

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    Whether you have expansive grounds or a prim patio, stone courtyard or picket fence, there’s a wealth of front garden ideas when it comes to the design elements you can incorporate.

    You’ll be sure to find plenty of inspiration here as we take you through a range of front garden ideas to suit every taste and budget.

    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.

    2. Plant rose bushes for a country look

    Image credit: 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.

    3. Keep the lawn short and formal

    front garden ideas

    Image credit: 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.

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

    front garden ideas

    Image credit: 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.

    5. Flank the front door with potted bay trees

    front garden ideas

    Image credit: 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.

    6. Use gravel for an informal and secure front garden

    front garden ideas

    Image credit: 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.

    7. Try cottage garden planting in a tight space

    front garden ideas

    Image credit: 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.

    8. Pick low-maintenance plants for colour

    Image credit: Simon Whitmore

    If your front garden is 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. Your front garden is mainly going to be viewed against the backdrop of your property, so choose a look that enhances its best features and conceals its less appealing ones.

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

    front garden ideas

    Image credit: 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.

    9. Keep it neat with a smart and simple footpath

    front garden ideas

    Image credit: Jamie Mason

    Keep soil and grass from being walked into your hallway with a simple garden path, which can be an attractive feature 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.

    10. Deck an American-style porch

    front garden ideas

    Image credit: 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.

    11. Paint a multi-coloured picket fence

    front garden ideas

    Image credit: 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.

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

    front garden ideas

    Image credit: 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 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.

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

    front garden ideas

    Image credit: Brent Darby

    A charming painted metal garden bench placed before the front door is the perfect place to sit and reflect, especially if it’s set in a spot that catches the sun. It also gives you somewhere to remove dirty shoes after a long walk in the country.

    14. Use pebbles outside a coastal home

    front garden ideas

    Image credit: 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.

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    Which is your favourite from the list?

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