Landscaping a front garden requires both practical and ornamental considerations.
Small garden or vast expanse, here are 5 ideas to organize and landscape a garden in front of the house!
Fences and gates to mark property lines
Few things need absolutely stand the test of time, but fences and gates are among them. Their main purposes are to represent property lines, keep intruders out and carve out a private space where the public eye is shut out.
You’ve got many different materials to choose from, and you can even combine various materials together, too. Natural quarry stones, wood and wrought iron all impart a strong sense of authenticity. They’re ideal when the house itself is ancient. Aluminum and steel, on the other hand, are resolutely modern. They’re available in many colors. The cheapest option is surely a simple mesh wire fence set behind an evergreen hedge. Select evergreen shrubs that grow bushy with dense foliage. Privet, of course, does the trick, but so do Nandina domestica and Abelia.
Think your walkways through
The front of the house is always a place where people and things go to and fro. Off to work, back with groceries… cars, bikes, skates and trots, now, too! Movement is what best describes this outdoor space.
It’s important to plan driveways for cars to reach the garage. Walkways must link to the main door from the street, too. For driveways, use resilient materials such as cobblestones, gravel or cement. As for walkways, you might want to consider stepping stones, wood planks or clay tiles.
Keep the pathway simple and straight! Walking from the parked car to the main door or to the kitchen entrance must be a straight line – otherwise you won’t use it! A slope isn’t a problem if you think it out. Stairs edged with beautiful shrubs, annuals and grasses are perfect. Use Pittosporum, pink beeblossom and clumps of monkey grass.
A place to relax
Once you’ve shielded the view with a hedge or privacy fence, you can start working on designing small, cozy spaces. The walkway leads from door to gate, so now you can deal with the space left and right of it.
If there’s enough space, do consider adding some garden furniture, protected perhaps with a pergola or a wrought-iron arbor.
Lace it with climbing vines like honeysuckles and clematis , both will bear beautiful blooms in summer. Also plant a few fragrant plants such as gardenia. Its sweet, rich smell will turn your garden set into a true fragrant cocoon. If space is short in front of the house for such a set-up, plant a lawn or create a flower bed instead. Usually, a housefront garden is neat and well-tended. Why not splurge and go for topiary boxwood or a cloud-shaped tree?
- Shown here: a wonderful healthy Stephanotis
The front garden is the first glimpse people get when they visit. Might as well make a statement! It’s always eye-catching to have a body of water in the garden.
Since the front garden isn’t ideal for a swimming pool, simply set up a fountain. A bamboo fountain will have a zen-like meditative style, while a stone fountain will refer to a more classical heritage. A stainless steel fountain will definitely impart a modern touch.
Add garden ornaments of which sculptures are often prized examples. Surround them with flowers in a growing bed. Vases, mirrors and trellis will abound with flowing or climbing perennials and annuals and bring spots of color as the years come and go.
In dry climates the solution is to create rock gardens. Drought-tolerant plants merge with rocks and boulders to recreate mountain landscapes.
Outside lighting, the final touch
A crucial but oft-forgotten aspect of a front door garden: lights! In winter, days are short and you need enough light to go about your duties. Unravel a string of LED lights along walkways, or dot them with lamps. Some designs are solar-powered and motion detectors activate them.
In any case, wire a wall light near the door. It’ll help you find your keys and will increase security since you can see who’s at the door better.
In a flower bed, however, adding lights will completely transform your garden. A warm spotlight shining on your plants will change your yard like night and day.
CC BY 2.0: Jean and Fred Hort, Herry Lawford
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