front garden1A front garden is on view to all, so must look good all year and be functional. Here are a few ideas for making your own ‘entrance’:

Focal points-

  • A statue, pot or some other hard landscape feature can be used to provide a focal point; something to draw the eye and give a sense of unity to the front garden.

  • Alternatively, box topiary shapes or other bold ‘architectural’ plants can fulfil this role and can be relatively easy to maintain. Likewise, planting groups of the same plant can be used to create a series of ‘green’ focal points.

  • Another idea is to create a feature such as a rockery that will be seen from the roadside and combines both hard and soft landscaping elements.

Paths and drives-

  • A path to the front door is a central feature of most front gardens. By laying this diagonally across the plot an illusion of depth can be created. If your plot is relatively small and your path from garden entrance to front door has to be primarily fucntional, they should take the shortest route if they are going to be used by casual visitors. However, they can be made to look more attractive by introducing gentle curves or by by using a mixture of path surfacing materials such as brick and stone. But don’t use more than two or three different materials as this can cretae a fussy, disjointed look.

  • If your plot is larger and you can fit in a second path which has a mainly decorative role, this can be routed to meander through the garden and provide easy access to each part of the plot; it could be a continuous ‘snake’ of paving or stepping stones, or a combination of both.

  • Don’t underlay gravel with different coloured or shaped chippings, as over time these will rise to the surface and the result will look ugly.

  • Try to avoid using impermeable materials for vehicle hard standings (there are now regulations in place about this) and if you do have large hard surfaced areas use planting pockets to break these up- a car can easily pass over low growing plants.

Planting-

  • Drought- tolerant shrubs such as Hebe and Choisya help to squeeze out weeds, so helping to keep the front garden looking tidy.

  • Plant tough plants at the edges of drives such as ornamental grasses, heathers or creeping thymes, which will survive an occasional clipping by a car tyre.

  • Use creeping plants near to the edges of the garden to create a natural look.

Good neighbour-

  • Abide by the law if you are thinking about some more major changes to your front garden e.g. if you are putting up a wall or fence adjoining a public road that is higher than 90cms or hedges in such locations. You need to contact the local authority before putting in solid boundaries and may be asked to cut back hedges that interfere with sight lines.

  • Likewise you need to contact the local authority if you plan to put in a vehicle ‘crossover’ over a public footpath and if you want to cultivate any grass verge outside your house.

front garden2

Source: Short Cuts to Great Gardens- Reader’s Digest

Old School Gardener

 

 

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