Front gardens can often be neglected in favour of focusing on the wider space of the back garden. However, the front garden is the first thing people visiting your home see. So, it’s important to spend time thinking about what your front garden looks like, and how it is designed. Read our front garden ideas guide to find your inspiration.
In this guide, we’ll explain which flowers work well in small front gardens and why you should think carefully before you start planting climbers. We will also discuss low maintenance front garden ideas, so you can create a gorgeous garden with minimal effort.
Low Maintenance Front Garden Ideas
Low maintenance front garden ideas are perfect if you don’t have a lot of time to cultivate your front garden. The following front garden ideas are cheap and easy to implement. The best bit is that you won’t need any special skills or equipment to get started!
1. Be Bold with Your Flower Choices
If you are looking for low budget, low maintenance front garden ideas, you can’t go wrong with updating your flowers. When you are choosing the right flowers, you should think about colour and fragrance, and find choices that combine well together. Freesias and jasmine have strong fragrances, which will create an inviting and welcoming entrance to your home.
If you are creating a front garden in the UK, you need to consider which flowers work well in a colder climate. Hyacinth and gardenia are good choices.
Don’t be afraid to opt for bright colours and bold colour combinations. Why not try an interesting flower choice like rosa glauca? The petals of the flower combine silver/grey and purple, which is a stunning mix. The brightness of the purple looks great next to green plants, lawns, and trees.
2. Focus on Straight Lines and Structure
Most popular front garden ideas focus on clean, crisp lines, for good reason. If you are designing a small front garden, you shouldn’t over complicate the space. Otherwise, you run the risk of creating a crowded and cluttered front garden. In larger back gardens, you can get away with planting more relaxed, wild, flower beds. However, if you use this tactic in a front garden, you run the risk of overwhelming the space.
The best way to design a front garden is to split it into sections and divide these areas sharply. Gravel and stones are ideal for this purpose. Before you start to plant or arrange anything, you need to make sure that you have a clear plan for how you are going to create your front garden.
By creating a garden that focuses on structure, you can also add additional privacy. Tall, fast growing plants such as bamboo, viburnum, and juniper are ideal options. They will create a natural wall which looks great and also gives you extra privacy. You can also use tall plants to create a border wall along the front of the garden.
3. How to Make the Most of Perennials
We have already covered why you should choose beautifully bold flowers and plants for your front garden. However, if you are new to gardening, or if you are short on time, you’ll also want to pick flowers that don’t require too much maintenance.
If you are looking to keep your garden looking fresh in the long run, you’ll want to plant a mix of long life and shorter life plants. Perennial plants last over two years, so they won’t need replacing as often as other flowers. Often, because they live longer, perennials can grow to a significant size. So you need to make sure that you give them the room they need.
Lavender is a fantastic option if you are looking for a strong perennial that will last a long time. It is a great choice if you are looking to add some privacy to the front window of your home. If you are looking for something more unusual, Russian Sage also grows in a similar way. Either option is good if you want to create a border between different areas of your garden or if you want to add privacy.
4. How to Create an Exciting Entrance
No front garden is truly complete without a beautiful doorway and entrance area. It’s easy to make a dramatic impression here. Remember, you want to make a strong first impression, so it’s worth investing some time and money in planning your doorway properly.
The first tip is to use a consistent colour scheme, like in the example featured above. Clashing colours can look cool when they are done right, but it’s a risk. Neutral tones like slate grey look modern and sophisticated. They also tend to be easier to maintain than brighter shades, which can fade.
If you are looking to repaint an old front door, be careful when you are choosing your paint. You need to make sure that you are using the right paint for the job. A front door is exposed to a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions. Exterior masonry paint will make sure that your door is robust and long lasting. It should also give you an attractive finish.
Often, people neglect to add any natural features to their steps and doorways. You can create a striking entrance by combining plants with concrete or gravel leading up to your front door. Combining natural and manmade textures is an easy way to make an attractive doorway.
Small Front Garden Ideas
Small front gardens don’t have to be boring. All you need to do is to think carefully and plan accordingly. Read our top tips for working with small front gardens.
1. Stick with Minimalist Design
Coming up with small front garden ideas can be tricky, as you are working with limited space. However, there are certain things that you can do to use your space creatively. Proper planning is essential here. Although you might be tempted to add lots of interesting features, if you are not careful you could create a messy space.
The trick to creating a fantastic small front garden is to avoid cluttering the space. Keep flowers and shrubbery to a minimum. Not only will this make your garden look uncluttered, it will also be easier to maintain in the long run. Overgrown plants and flowers can quickly ruin the look of your whole front garden.
Many successful small front garden ideas focus on a particular spot and make it the central feature of the space. Trees can work well as your central focal point. Just make sure that you keep the surrounding space fairly neutral. Mix up your colours and textures by using gravel and paving stones around your natural features.
If you are designing the space from scratch, you might want to hire a landscape designer. They will be able to advise you and show you which small front garden ideas will work well with your space.
2. Think Carefully About Climbers
Many stunning front garden ideas make climbers a key feature of the design. Climbers, which are plants that grow up the side of your home, can create a whimsical fairytale look. Whether you opt for an evergreen or a colourful climber, they can add a lot of colour and texture to your house.
They make look beautiful, however, if you are not careful climbers can cause a lot of issues. Structural damage and roof problems can easily arise. So, how can you avoid this?
Firstly, certain climbers can cause more damage than others. Self-clinging climbers are stronger and more persistent than other climbers. This means that they can support themselves as they grow up your walls. Their strength can cause significant structural damage. You can tame self-clinging climbers by pruning them properly throughout the year. However, if you don’t have much time, you might want to avoid them.
Thankfully, even if you have to avoid self-clinging climbers, there are other options that you can explore. Roses and wisteria can work particularly well if you are worried about structural damage. These plants cannot support themselves. So, you will need to add support underneath them.
A stainless steel trellis will work perfectly. The key benefit of choosing a climber that isn’t self-clinging is that you can control its growth far more easily. A trellis can be easily removed if you want to paint or clean the walls underneath it later on.
3. Always Consider Your Surroundings
Adding colour and personality to your front garden is no bad thing. However, it is a good idea to bear in mind that your front garden is perhaps the most public area of your house. You need to make sure that your house isn’t the one on the street that is standing out for all the wrong reasons.
If your neighbours all have neutral, well-maintained gardens, you should definitely try to fit with the overall style of the street. Having an off the wall front garden can be expensive in the long run. Fixing mistakes or making repairs can be tricky if you have used obscure materials or crazy colours. Ultimately, if you choose to sell your house in the future, a wacky front garden could put off a lot of buyers. So, think carefully before you make any big decisions, otherwise, you might have to waste time and money later on.
4. Create a Clearly Defined Pathway
Sometimes, it can be easy to get carried away when you trying to design the perfect front garden. It can be tricky to find the right balance between including exciting features but also retaining elegant simplicity. One way that you can achieve this is by clearly defining the pathway leading up to your door.
Your front garden should be designed to clearly show visitors where they need to go. A winding, complicated path can look lovely. However, it will quickly become an annoying inconvenience. Inevitably, you and your visitors will end up choosing the quickest route to the house.
Protect your lawn and plants by sticking to direct, straight paths. They are easier to maintain and they are often cheaper to install. Planting a border of flowers or shrubs parallel to the path helps to break up your garden into zones. You’ll just need to make sure that you trim and maintain these plant regularly so that your path stays clear.
Just because you stick to a straight path doesn’t mean you can’t get creative in other ways. Instead of experimenting with shape, you can work with different materials. A slate grey stone path like the one above will look very modern. Using simple planks, surrounded by gravel, this path is easy to install and maintain.
Using a darker coloured stone in the middle of the path clearly signposts to your visitors where the entrance is. It will also retain its colour without becoming too discoloured or damaged over time. Finally, whatever kind of path you choose, make sure that the material you use is appropriate for most weather conditions. Slippery surfaces should be avoided.
We hope you have enjoyed reading our front garden ideas. If you are interested in revamping your back garden or front garden, we have plenty of how-to articles to help you get started. Click on the links below to check out our top tips.
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