First impressions count, so it’s important to make a good one. Your choice of front garden ideas will make or break what visitors first think of your home, so they’re well worth some consideration. And perhaps even more importantly, it’s what you’ll see every time you leave and return to your home, so why not make it beautiful.
When planning your what to do with your gardens, you’re spoilt for choice as there are designs to suit every style and size. So 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.
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.
Front garden ideas
From well tended lawn, characterful porches and striking floral displays we have an array of front garden ideas which can immediately lift your homes facade and add instant kerb appeal.
1. Go for naturalistic borders
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.
2. Swap a fence for a hedge
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.
3 Create a natural archway
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.
4. Include raised beds
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.
5. Add a pop of colour
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.
6. Encourage climbers
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.
7. Add pattern with a tiled path
Just as with inside the home, the floor 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.
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.
8. Play with textures
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.
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.
13. Plant tactical topiary for privacy
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.
14. Dress the windowsill
You can keep things simple but still make it stylish and inviting. This front garden is a fine example how less can be more, with the main garden area covered with a low maintenance gravel with a few simple bushes planted at the edges. The perfect finishing touch are the three potted flower arrangements which dress the windowsills. This idea is perfect to dress the exterior but also provides a pretty view through the window from indoors too.
15. Landscape a layout
The front garden of this white semi detached Victorian house, is landscaped to perfection to offer a well-curated look. The garden landscaping ideas of this paved front garden features a diamond shaped bed with an olive tree centrepiece, with planted edging that create a path leading to the front door. At the front of the garden there’s a scattering of lavender to add a softer element to the structured planting.
16. Create a balanced pot arrangement
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.
17. Encourage a climbing wisteria
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.
18. Flank the front door with potted bay trees
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.
19. Use gravel for an informal and secure front garden
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.
20. Try cottage garden planting in a tight space
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.
21. Pick low-maintenance plants for colour
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.
22. Build up a formal facade with multi-height topiary
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.
23. Keep it neat with a smart and simple footpath
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.
24. Deck an American-style porch
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.
25. Paint a picket fence
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.
26. Make a feature of a tree with a round bench
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.
27. Set a bench next to the door so you can enjoy the view
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.
The best garden furniture also gives you somewhere to remove dirty shoes after a long walk in the country.
28. Use pebbles outside a coastal home
Pairing cabbage rose succulents with large stones brings a beach feel to this front garden, which works surprisingly well against the stone facade.
29. Plant rose bushes for a country look
Complete a country home in picturesque style by including white-painted picket gates to mark the entrance to a charming floral-bordered driveway.
30. Fill a forecourt with a large-scale potted display
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?
‘Your front lawn says a lot about your home, it’s the first thing visitors will see and these impressions last, especially in boosting the kerb appeal of your property,’ says Chris Mcllroy, lawn expert at The Grass People. ‘However, maintaining a front garden doesn’t have to be time consuming with many ways you can keep it low-maintenance.’
‘There are low upkeep and slow growing seed mixes which requires much less mowing than most grass seed types,’ continues Chris. ‘Ideal for those of us who are looking for a low-maintenance lawn. The seeds are expertly blended and are made up of 100% fine fescues which is particularly good for lawns that are shaded. This mix is also 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.
‘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.’
‘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 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.’
‘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.’
What are the best plants for a front garden?
‘The best options for driveway greenery are plants, hedges or trees that are resilient to weather changes and able to grow off hardscapes such as concrete, gravel or paving stones’ advises Kane Hughes, from MyJobQuote. ‘These include hardy geraniums, succulent plants, fragrant lavender or thyme and bay trees. If you are in the countryside, consider maintaining a garden and growing organic fruits and berries instead. If you are not an avid gardener, opt for the ‘less is more’ approach and choose only two potted varieties that frame your doorway’.