Monthly Archives: August 2017

Top tips to give your front garden a spectacular new look by Chris Martin

Front garden to Victorian house is filled with Verbena bonariensis, dahlias and salvias - © Nicola Stocken/GAP Photos

Front garden to Victorian house is filled with Verbena bonariensis, dahlias and salvias – © Nicola Stocken/GAP Photos

Picture the classic British home; red brick, sash windows, freshly cut grass and filled flower beds out back. But what about the front garden? This area is often forgotten or neglected, but it can be a great asset to any home, framing the house and offering a space to show off your gardening style for all to see. Remember to follow these tips to ensure you’re the envy of your neighbours:

Layout: Failing to plan is planning to fail, so be sure that you start with a solid design for your front garden’s layout. Grab a pencil, a ruler, some paper and get sketching, consider symmetry, the path of the sun and how your garden will frame your front door – as well as welcome visitors to it.

Spacing: Be sure to consider how much space you have to play with when it comes to planning plants, window boxes, pots or garden ornaments. You do not want your garden to look cluttered or have plants get so out of hand that they block light to your windows and cause you lots of unnecessary work.

Be sympathetic: Design a garden that is both sympathetic to your property as well as the street that you live in. If you live in a period property, then think about restoring your garden’s original features and complimenting them with new planting, window boxes or pot plants to add your own style.

Planning permission: If you are considering making large scale changes to your front garden, like adding a driveway, a large wall or building any kind of structure then you will need to check with your local council to see if planning permission is required for your project.

Colours: Do you prefer modern, stylish, muted tones such as greys? Or are you after a bloom of colours and life to bring attention to your front garden? Colour can be a valuable tool and one of the most important factors when considering how to match your front garden against your home.

Plants: Depending on your personal style and the age of your home, you can consider a variety of plants for your front garden. Small, potted trees and hardy shrubs are popular plants for contemporary homes or for those who want all round foliage with minimal effort involved. Country cottages might suit flowers, planted in beds or windowsill planters full of colour. If you live near a busy road, it’s also important that any plants can withstand a polluted environment.

Always remember that your front garden can be just as enjoyable to design and maintain as your back one. It can add value to your home, show off your creative flair and be a noteworthy addition to your street. Be kind to your neighbours and give them a fantastic front garden to look at when they walk past!

Chris Martin.

Chris Martin

Chris Martin

Chris is the owner and head designer of The London Front Garden Company. Chris specialises in restoring Edwardian, Victorian and Georgian front gardens in South West London. If you would like to find out more please visit the London Front Garden Company website – http://www.londonfrontgardencompany.co.uk/

Church View

Gravel path leading towards mature Apple tree, with wooden curved seat at its base, and late summer borders with perennials and grasses on sloping back cottage garden at Church View, Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria NGS - © Fiona Lea/GAP Photos

Gravel path leading towards mature Apple tree, with wooden curved seat at its base, and late summer borders with perennials and grasses on sloping back cottage garden at Church View, Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria NGS – © Fiona Lea/GAP Photos

A country garden the belies its youth in providing fullness, variety and an abundance of colour.

Although Church View is a fine old sandstone cottage, it has a newly developed back garden on a sloping site. Landscape gardener and plantsman, Ian Huckson, transformed the half-acre garden in just 3 years. It took one year of clearance and hard-landscaping followed by two years of planting and cultivation. The planting was carried out from autumn 2007 to spring 2008. The garden belies its youth in providing fullness, variety and an abundance of floral display. Ian takes particular pride in the design and quality of his plantings. Helen and Ian have worked together for many years and as Ian says, ‘we have similar garden tastes, which is great.’

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Breedenbroek

View of house from flowerbed - Breedenbroek, New Zealand - © Steven Wooster/GAP Photos

View of house from flowerbed – Breedenbroek, New Zealand – © Steven Wooster/GAP Photos

A 5 acre plot developed over 12 years to form a beautiful country garden.

Designed with the help of New Zealand Landscape Architect, Ben McMaster, the garden features four broad herbaceous borders sheltered by high hornbeam hedges and formal box-hedged rose beds linked by arches.

Bay hedges enclose a potager garden and beyond, there’s a small orchard. A natural creek meanders through the garden flowing into a large informal pond. A board walk leads you around the pond and through a native area. The garden is open for visitors.

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