Show Some Front
There has been a quiet design revolution taking place in front gardens and the classic lawn and rockery have made way to some clever new design features. With such busy lives, house owners have been looking for easy maintenance solutions and also with a shortage of off road parking available in most towns, house owners have been replacing front lawns with snazzy hard standing.
It looks good and is ideal parking for the family car in the evening. Even if these scenarios do not apply, maybe your front garden is just looking tired and in need of a facelift. Don't forget, first impressions count and a smart front garden gives a warm welcome.
The appealing look of your front garden is fashionably called 'kerb appeal' and is very important if you are thinking of selling your property. Before you start work on your front garden makeover, wash all the paintwork on the front of your house, garage doors and window sills or given it a fresh lick of paint (any shade of grey is the trending colour!).
Gain Extra Parking
Turning your front lawn into private parking can be easily done – but check that this is permitted first. There are lovely attractive brickwork options and paving slabs are available in various designs and colours. The cheapest option is gravel and this can be a successful DIY job! Gravel can be bought in local garden centres in various sizes and colours including soft shades of purple.
Gravel is quick to install but you need to prepare the area first using thick plastic matting that must be staked into place. The matting is also available from garden centres. To stop the gravel from moving too far, there is a good range of edging stones to keep it in place. Check drainage too, lawns soak up rain but hard paving won’t – be sure all of that excess water has somewhere to go!
Go Mediterranean Style
If you don't have a front flower bed, the easiest way to aid colour to your front garden is with some large clay pots, filled with brightly coloured plants. These are easy to maintain and will bring instant colour to your garden.
For an extra splash of colour, add some matching hanging baskets either side of the front door. Don't be tempted to use any valuable pots to decorate your garden as sadly, there is the chance that they will disappear.
Emphasise Your Flower Beds
Front gardens are usually relatively small so their style needs to be well defined. Carefully shaped flower beds with neat edges look good. Symmetrical designs work well. Think carefully about plants for your flower bed as you need a mixture of some evergreen shrubs and trees that will be perennial with colour provided by flowering annuals and silver foliage such as salvia.
Keep all plants neatly trimmed to add impact. If your flowerbed runs in front of your house, you can add variety with plants of varying heights - with taller plants in between the windows. Climbing plants can look lovely, but be careful of the clinging climbers as they will damage your pipes and paintwork.
Far better to opt for climbers such as roses and wisteria that need to be supported by a trellis. Don’t allow beds to cover airbricks or bridge the damp proof course as this could cause dampness in the house.
Keep Your Footpath Tidy
Make sure that your footpath is clean and tidy at all times and that it doesn't become overgrown with grass or weeds. A modern curse are rubbish bins and if you can, try and hide them behind some leafy shrubs or trellis work.
Other Clever Additions
To increase the impact of your front garden, it can be fun to add some solar/battery operated fairy lights along the edges of the footpath. There are some attractive outside lights that can be installed on either side of your front door too including smart cylindrical stainless steel fittings that emit a diffused golden light from the top and bottom.
Don't hide your house number away, proclaim it loudly! Trendy house numbers are large and extremely bold! The most popular styles of numbers are in smart black and to ring the changes, some are written in words such as 'eighteen'. There are some smart Perspex number boards on the market that can have the street added underneath the number which looks fun and will certainly won't leave postal deliveries or keen buyers to chance!
Creating a new look for your front garden is fun as it is not a huge job and can really be effective. Take the dog for a walk later and have a good look at the front gardens you pass to see which features appeal most! Not only will you be giving your front garden a fresh new look and warm welcome, you will be adding value to your property too.