The best front garden ideas – smart, easy and cheap
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.
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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.
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.
Colour co-ordinated front garden ideas
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. Colour harmonising is one of the cheapest, easiest and most effective front garden ideas.
A simple front garden planting with just one kind of plant
This is the last of the ‘four gardens in a row’. This front garden has a relaxed, easy feel and is filled with Erigeron karvinskianus, otherwise known as fleabane. This looks so charming – it just froths up everywhere. Planting just one kind of plant in your front garden is one of the simplest and most effective front garden ideas, especially when it’s an easy-going daisy like this.
Topiary front garden ideas
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.
Choose your front garden 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.
And front garden colour schemes too…
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.
How to landscape your front driveway
If you have a front garden big enough to park a car in, then think about what landscaping materials to use. You can make your driveway look more attractive and more eco-friendly. Choose permeable paving or use a mix of materials, making sure that some are permeable.
Permeable paving is important, because of run-off. So many front gardens in our towns and cities have been paved over for parking. This means that when there is a heavy rain, the water isn’t absorbed by the soil. It rushes off into the town drainage system, which gets overloaded and causes flash flooding.
In the 2019 BBC Gardeners World Live show, Professor David Stevens designed two front gardens with parking areas as part of the Young Landscapers Award. Two teams of landscapers competed on how they delivered the designs. One garden was in a traditional theme and the other was contemporary in style. Both front gardens featured a mix of paving.
Raised beds in front gardens
Professor Stephens also featured raised beds in both the front gardens. A raised bed works well in a front garden because it delineates the space as well as a fence does. And it raises planting up, so you can enjoy it from your front windows.
Read more front garden ideas – or ideas that will also work in your front garden in How to Style Your Garden. If you’re particularly interested in an easy care front garden, then read Low Maintenance Front Garden Ideas – the myths and the facts.
It’s also worth remembering that your choice of a front garden path is important, and there’s more about how to choose your garden path here.
And if you’re thinking of adding a hedge to your front garden, this has essential tips.
Shop my favourite gardening books, tools and products
I’m often asked for recommendations, so I’ve put together useful lists of the gardening tools, books and other products on The Middlesized Garden Amazon store.
For example, if you’re new to gardening (or want to buy a present for someone whose new to gardening), there is a list of the 7 essential gardening tools with the brands I use. Or if you’re looking to make your gardening more environmentally friendly by composting or being more wildlife-friendly, then see My Favourite Sustainable Gardening Products.
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I hope that’s given you some good front garden ideas. Let me know your pretty, smart or unusual front garden ideas. And do share this, using the buttons below – thank you!