Create a beautiful front garden to make your home look warm and welcoming

Credit: Alamy

A front garden is often neglected, even though they’re far more on show than our back gardens. Yet one of the unexpected consequences of lockdown has been neighbours meeting in the street, having ‘distanced’ chats from their front gardens. As a result, many of us are taking a closer look at our own front garden.

MORE: How prairie planting can transform your garden this summer

If you’re considering selling your home, you’ll find a well tended front garden gives you immediate ‘kerb appeal’ when potential buyers draw up. Those first impression can be vital in putting them in a positive frame of mind.

So giving your front garden the attention it deserves will make sure it acts as a showcase for your home.

Make an entrance

A rose scrambling around the front door creates a stunning effect

An archway over a gate, porch or door covered with a climbing rose (such as the creamy-white ‘Crème de la Crème’) will look and smell amazing. Or for a super-stylish entrance, add symmetrical containers either side of a door and fill with easy-to-grow colourful bedding plants such as trailing petunias, geraniums or lobelia, graceful grasses or low-maintenance evergreens, like the silver-edged Euonymus fortunei.

Plant up containers

Fast growing Erigeron Karvinskianus creates a lovely ‘cottage garden’ feel

Tubs, containers and windowboxes are all easy wins in a front garden, keeping maintenance to a minimum. But they will need regular feeding and watering, so fitting a small water butt to a downpipe will save you lots of trips back and forth with the watering can. A Maxicrop or other seaweed-based plant growth stimulant makes a great nutrient top-up for flowering plants in containers. Keep dead-heading spent blooms to extend your show.

Pretty pathways

front garden

Who could resist this border?

Don’t forget to primp your path by lining it with easy-care perennials, such as Mexican daisy (Erigeron karvinskianus), scented lavender, or herbs like chive or thyme, which you can snip for use in the kitchen. For shaded pathways, try hostas, ferns and bergenias, but keep an eye out for snails and slugs that thrive in moist, shady conditions.

Wildlife haven

Even a tiny patch can support an abundance of wildlife from insects and amphibians to birds and bees, as shrubs, berries, plants and flowers supply shelter and food. Greenery also has a positive effect on our wellbeing. And you won’t be the only one to enjoy it, as neighbours and passers-by will love looking at your planting schemes.

Boundaries and bins

Grown up a trellis, Euonymus fortunei Emerald gold acts as a pretty screen

Front gardens are often expected to fulfill more mundane functions – think wheelie bins and off-street parking for starters. Yet with care, the smallest space can become green and inviting, as well as accommodating vehicles and bins. A well-planned garden can also help reduce street noise and pollution, as well as creating extra privacy.

Where possible, replace a fence with
an evergreen hedge (think yew or privet)
to help filter dust pollution and absorb noise.
 A hedge is great for wildlife, too, providing protection and nesting sites for birds and insects and, if it’s berry-producing (like holly, hawthorn or pyracantha), it’s a food source as well.

You could also disguise wheelie and recycling bins with a trellis screen covered in climbers – see Cultivation Street for more great ideas.

A warm welcome

Your front garden can give so much pleasure to you, to neighbours and to visitors. It’s also the first thing potential buyers take in when they arrive, so take a look at yours and see just how much potential it really holds. You really can create your own haven outside the front door!