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How to create a welcoming front garden

During the winter months, often the only part of your outdoor patch you really notice is the front garden. It waves you goodbye on your way to work or school, and welcomes you home at the end of the day. It’s a space for your cars, bikes and bins, but it should also be a space for paths, plants and trees. It’s the spot that shows off your home to its best advantage, so whether you need the kerb appeal to sell your house, want to impress the neighbours, or just want to enjoy the space yourself, here are some great ideas for improving your front garden.

Garden Design in Dulwich Village 10

Keep things simple

We’ve all seen big parking areas outside houses like this – and modern families often need this amount of space to park and manoeuvre cars – but the planting in this garden is what makes it such a success. By choosing just a few species rather than lots of different ones, and anchoring the whole scheme with some new trees, the planting becomes more of a feature and detracts from the big driveway.


Riverside Home

Make a statement

A large, stylish front door like this can be hard to work with because it’s quite a design statement in itself. This homeowner has made the entrance really inviting by using big planters filled with lots of seasonal flowers and foliage to either side. This is an easy idea to replicate, because of its simplicity. Any planter will do, as long as it’s big and simple, like the door itself, then simply fill it with your favourite combination of flowers. Geraniums like these create great seasonal colour and will last from spring through to late autumn – ideal if low maintenance is a priority. There are lots of different colours and varieties to choose from, including trailing geraniums, and they all have great scent. Ring the changes in the autumn with some evergreen skimmias underplanted with spring bulbs.

Residential Exteriors


Pick the right style

Cottages need cottage gardens and this front porch and planting has style in buckets. We love the stacked logs in the porch, which also work practically, because they’re right where you need them when you get home, plus they’ll keep out some of the wind! The colourful planting is pure cottage style, and even in winter there are some species there to give you a little bit of winter fragrance. The rosemary by the door, for instance, will provide year-round foliage and scent from early spring, while the terracotta pot could be planted with a variety of bulbs and annuals through the year, such as spring tulips and summer lilies, to keep the flowers coming.

See more beautiful country gardens on Houzz.

Farmhouse garden renovation
Embrace informality
There are lots of styles you can adopt in creating an approach to you home, but consider how your house looks. Other images here show big, formal styles, but this country barn needed a very simple combination of just two different species – a grass, Stipa tenuissima, and a flower, Verbena bonariensis – to let the old house and the heritage fig tree speak for themselves. It’s also easy to maintain.

See inside a beautiful, rustic barn conversion with a sleek, modern kitchen

Town front garden

Pick your perfect paving

Think about the type of paving you use, both for the look of your garden and how it functions. It’s important to incorporate efficient drainage to avoid flooding. There are various ways to facilitate good drainage, including laying porous pavers.


Philadelphia City Gardens


Sit out front

We love the idea of people sitting out in their front gardens. If yours is set in a secluded space and it gets the morning sun, it’s perfect for a small terrace and an early morning breakfast. If it’s a great evening spot, then sit out front with a glass of wine and chat to the neighbours!


City Beach

Add some contemporary structure

The architectural trees in this garden look fantastic, and match the modern structure of the pillars and house. It’s a simple trick to have one or two structural plants within a contemporary space and give them room to breathe. Light them at night-time for added drama.

Sandbanks Beach House

Be ‘waterwise’

We all know a lawn will go brown in a drought and needs lots of attention to keep it free of weeds and moss. But what if you ditch it for ‘waterwise’ planting, as in this front garden? Waterwise planting is a method of good soil preparation and planting densely and with mulch to create ground cover. Choose ground-cover plants that will quickly do the work for you of retaining soil moisture and beating back the weeds – it’s a simple way to cut labour and have a more beautiful front garden. Grasses such as Stipa gigantea and Hakonechloa macra are great waterwise plants.


Private Residence, Edinburgh
Park and walk
It’s all too easy to have a huge driveway and then park right in front of the door. This solution moves the parking space to the garage side, leaving a pedestrian entrance to the front door.  We also love the solution of using a different but complementary paving material to build on the strength of the pedestrian path rather than the driveway. There’s not a lot of planting impact yet, but that will come as the beds develop, and the low-level planting works perfectly with the horizontal lines of the house.

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Yin and Yang Garden

Exotic styling

It’s common to fall into the trap of using the same local style for your front garden as everyone else in your road, but this garden in Scotland is bolder and uses stone and gravel to create a contemporary Asian look that, in true Arts and Crafts form, works well with the property’s brickwork. A very simple planting palette, pebbles and a characterful rock give a distinctive look easily replicated with very little construction knowledge. It’s a style that would look good with both modern and traditional homes.

New Forest House

Light the way

What better way to welcome evening guests than with some lighting up the garden path? A simple progression of three uplighters against a boundary wall creates a simple effect that’s both practical and dramatic. You could even try this with simple, solar-powered path lights, which are low-cost and low-maintenance, but a great way to direct your visitors to the front door.

Fisher Tomlin & Bowyer, Houzz Contributor 

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