Front garden ideas – simple planting and path ideas to enhance the exterior of your home

Make the most of the extra garden space! Add kerb appeal to your home with a well-kept front garden
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  • Your front garden is the first thing you and your visitors see, it’s therefore key to make it count. We have front garden ideas to make a good first impression. From well tended lawn, characterful porches and striking floral displays we have an array of ideas which can immediately lift your homes 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.

    Visit our dedicated gardens channel for all the latest ideas and planting advice to aid your gardening needs

    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.

    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.

    Front garden ideas

    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.

    5. Plant tactical topiary for privacy

    house exterior

    Image credit: 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.

    6. Dress the windowsill

    Front graden ideas with windowsill plants

    Image credit: David Giles

    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.

    Read more: 29 easy garden ideas – simple, low-maintenance updates to transform your outdoor space

    7. Landscape a layout

    landscaped front garden idea

    Image credit: David Still

    The front garden of this white semi detached Victorian house, is landscaped to perfection to offer a well-curated look. The 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.

    8. Create a balanced pot arrangement

    front garden ideas with potted bushes

    Image credit: 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.

    9. Encourage a climbing wisteria

    house exteriro and front garden with wisteria

    Image credit: 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.

    10. 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.

    11. 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.

    12. 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.

    13. 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.

    14. 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.

    15. 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.

    16. 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.

    17. Paint a 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.

    More garden ideas: Garden fence ideas – panels and decorative reclaimed fencing that will bring privacy and structure to your plot

    18. 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.

    19. 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.

    20. 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.

    21. 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.

    22. 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.

    Shed so stylish: Garden shed ideas – projects and designs for your own special outdoor room

    How can I make my front garden look nice?

    Take-a-festive-tour-of-this-16th-century-country-house-in-Essex-exterior

    Image credit: Polly Eltes

    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?

    The easiest way to build a low maintenance front garden is to go without a lawn, opting for a gravel or paved frontage instead. While a lawn is beautiful it does require effort to keep it looking its best, with constant feeding, watering and trimming. 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.

    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’.

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