The best front garden ideas – smart, easy and cheap

Posted By: Alexandra Campbell On: July 17th, 2016 In: Garden style & living

Here is a round-up of my favourite front garden ideas.

Your front garden is part of your community. It’s what people see when they walk home from work. You can talk to neighbours while you’re working in it.

Your front garden also has an environmental impact. The RHS’s Greening Grey Britain campaign aims to prevent everyone from paving over their front gardens to make parking spaces. It also has good ideas for those who want a parking space but are prepared to share it with plants.

So, in no particular order, here are some front gardens that cheer people up when they walk past them. They’re (almost) all easy to adapt yourself and they’re not expensive.

There are some affiliate links in this post, which means you can click through to buy. If you do, I may get a small fee.

The horticulturalist’s front garden

If you are mad about plants, then your front garden is a wonderful place to display them. This garden below is one of four gardens in a row near me in Faversham. Each of the four front gardens is completely different but delightful.

Front garden ideas for plants

This front garden makes plants its priority. It’s always a pleasure to walk past. Angel’s fishing rods and agapanthus work well.

Alliums and persicaria

Another Faversham front garden for plant-lovers. It always has something in flower.

A formal front garden

This is the next garden in the row of four. It has a classic formal design, and is planted mainly with lavender. The blue of the lavender works well with the duck egg blue front door.

Classic front garden

Classic rope edging works well in front gardens because there usually isn’t any lawn. It’s also appropriate if you have a Victorian house. You can get stone/concrete rope edging from Amazon here.

Colour co-ordinated front garden

The ‘row of four gardens’ shows an excellent use of colour. In this garden, the colour of the front door matches the colour of the garden gate. Even the box (for electricity meters?) on the side of the front door is painted in the same smart blue-grey. This looks great and is easy to do.

Match up front garden colour

The twentieth century garden gate matches the Victorian front door and also the edging tiles. Use an all-surface paint suitable for indoor and outdoor use, such as Rust-Oleum.

A simple front garden planting

This is the last of the ‘four gardens in a row’. This front garden has a relaxed, easy feel and is wholly dominated by erigeron karvinskianus. This looks so charming – it just froths up everywhere. Planting just one kind of plant in your front garden is often effective, especially when it’s a simple daisy like this.

Topiary front garden

The garden below probably cannot be described as either ‘easy’ or ‘cheap.’ But it does show how effective topiary can be in a front garden. You can buy box and yew from markets and grow your own topiary.

Topiary front garden

A traffic-stopping topiary front garden in Putney, London.

Choose your front path with the house in mind

If you have a yellow brick house, then have a yellow brick path. It’s such an easy thing to forget. In fact, it’s a good idea to remember that all the elements of your front garden ought to work together, from the colour of the front door and garden gate to the path and the planting.

Brick path

Garden consultant Posy Gentles had a concrete path. She replaced it with a brick path more in keeping with the house.

Think about colour themes

Blue and white colour theme

A simple blue and white front garden scheme in Faversham. A white door, blue pots and blue flowers all add up to a charming sight.

Garden to match street sign

I love the way this front gardener seems to have planted her front garden to match the street sign!

Pink and blue front garden

This is our front garden, mainly planted by our predecessors. They chose a pink theme. In summer, Rosa bonica flowers for months on end. We also have hot pink wild gladioli (self-seeded) and pink nerines. I have underplanted with nepeta as I think that looks good with the railings.

Pink themed front garden

The pink Rosa bonica flower endlessly, and many commuters have told me that they love seeing them on their walk home.

Front garden obelisk

Miranda Alexander has painted an obelisk in her front garden. It’s in harmony with her front door. Use a paint formulated for use outside, such as Shabby Chic Chalk Paint or Cuprinol Garden Shades.

Upcycled front garden ideas

Fern Alder started Full Frontal, a community front garden initiative which spread all over the country. She believes in making the most of front gardens and encourages people to do interesting things, such as recycling unusual objects as planters.

Dustpan with succulents

Fern has planted a rusted old dustpan with succulents and hangs it beside her front door.

Wellie boot planters

Old wellie boots planted up at Doddington Place Gardens.

Front garden ideas

Grab a pot of paint and transform your front garden now…

I hope that’s given you some ideas. Let me know your pretty, smart or unusual front garden ideas. And do share this, using the buttons below – thank you!

12 Comments

  • eMoov says:

    The formal front garden and Topiary front garden looks so fabulous! They could be the best option for people who are very creative. But no matter what type of garden you want at home, the most important part of it is that you maintain its cleanliness and orderliness.

    • Cleanliness and orderliness make a big difference in both houses and gardens, but don’t forget to leave a few piles of sticks or leaves tucked away so that beneficial insects can shelter. Allowing ivy and hedging to grow a little bit wild also helps wildlife – but it can still look good provided the rest of the garden is well cared for.

  • Michael says:

    Some great ideas! Your garden is lovely. I’m just about to re-design my front garden and your roses have inspired me!

  • Nice list of an attractive front gardens ideas! The front porch is the first thing people see when they approach your home. A quick makeover is really important for the perfect look.

  • Linda Casper says:

    Some lovely ideas there. I always think it a generous gesture to have an attractive front garden which is seen more by passersby than the home owner.

    • And it’s nice to have the opportunity to talk to neighbours, too, when looking after it. I see you have a blog, but the link didn’t work and went to a 404 error page – feel free to submit your comment again if you’d rather have the link working.

  • Nic Wilson says:

    I’ve been blogging about front gardens this weekend too. So important for wildlife, the environment and health and happiness for people as well! I love that my front garden has colour throughout the year with dogwoods, daffodils, tulips and then summer flowers. It also hides lots of edibles too. 🙂

    • People really notice front gardens – people say things to us like ‘when I see your roses, I know I’m almost home.’ It rather worries me that if anything happens to the roses, the commuters who pass our gate will be up in arms…

  • Sue says:

    Lovely ideas here, you do live in a nice village. We have nice front gardens in our little village too and it makes me smile seeing new p!ants popping up as the seasons change.

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