10 Inspirational Front Garden Design Ideas

By Jemima Armfield

Are you wondering what to do with your front garden?

Whether you've got a new tiny front garden, a big expanse next to a drive or are looking to transform front garden from a forgotten space into something you can treasure; here are 10 front garden design ideas to help you create a space that you can be proud of.

1. Symmetry and structure

You don’t have to be a fantastic gardener or plant hundreds of flowers and plants to create a striking garden that catches the eye.

One of the simplest front garden ideas is to apply symmetry and structure to your outdoor space - think straight lines, well-defined flower beds and solid planting.

Although symmetry is perhaps most common in formal gardens, it’s a design principle that can add a sense of style to any garden.

Create a welcoming entryway, place two planters on either side of a gate or door or use mirrored perennial beds to achieve this look.

Green hedging for privacy

2. Set a simple layout and stick to it

It’s an obvious point, but at its heart, the layout of your garden needs to signal where people should go.

The easiest way to do that is with a clear path and big pots on either side of the front door. The beauty of a simple layout like this is that it will work just as well in winter as it will in the summer.

The structural bones of your garden will be more visible in winter, however, so make sure they look the part.

3. Combine function with greenery

You might think there’s no way to make your driveway look pretty, but with a little thought, function and foliage can co-exist happily.

Filling the outside borders and corners with hardy evergreen bushes is a simple solution.

If you have a small front garden that is consumed entirely by a paved parking area, then window flower boxes, hanging baskets and planters that are placed strategically will soften and brighten the space.

Garden design idea: Decking with greenery
Garden design tutor Dr. Audrey Timm's garden

4. Grow vertically in small gardens

If you’re looking for small front garden ideas, then growing upwards rather than outwards is a simple strategy you can use. Incorporating trellises and frame structures will allow climbing plant varieties to thrive.

However, beware of self-clinging climbers such as hydrangeas and ivy, which can find their way into the guttering, mortar and even windows. Instead, opt for roses, clematis and wisteria, which need support to grow.

If you don’t have the soil for planted trellises or frames, there are alternatives that can simply be hooked onto a wall and removed, along with the climber, whenever necessary.

Alternatively, you can use wall plant holders and plant stands to achieve a similar effect while adding colour and contrast to your home.

5. Allow shady gardens to thrive

If your back garden is bathed in sunshine while your front garden is left in the shade, there’s still plenty that you can do to bring it to life.

There are lots of shade-loving plants to choose from, from ferns and hostas to flowers such as snowdrops, foxgloves and bellflowers. Including some evergreens in your beds and planters will provide shape and structure while helping to break up harsh walls and paths.

6. Add a picturesque path

A winding pathway can look lovely, but the risk is that over time people will cut the corners and it will all look a bit messy. Instead, you can set the scene by introducing new materials and textures.

A wooden decked pathway is much softer than paving or brick alternatives and can be further enhanced with thoughtful planting, such as overgrown foliage and lavender, on either side.

Alternatively, a brick path lined with pots can look the part in the country, while slate paving can perfectly complement a slate roof.

A path through green hedging

7. Introduce some fairy lights

No one said good front garden design ideas had to be time-consuming or expensive. You can make a huge difference to your home by draping warm, white fairy lights around structural plants, trees and other garden features.

Fairy lights can make the garden look magical in wintertime and bring a smile to your face in spring.

8. Choose colours that complement your surroundings

When choosing the plants for your new front garden design, try to pick colours that will complete the immediate surroundings and tie in with the tones of the house. For example, evergreens work perfectly with red brick, while brilliant orange flowers provide pop to a whitewashed house.

As you get more confident, you can start to play around with your colour combinations to make a bright and bold statement.

9. Use tactical topiary for privacy

Small front garden design ideas aren’t all about creating spaces that look the part. Practicality is also important. If you have a very small front garden, then creating some privacy may be a priority, particularly if you look out onto the pavement.

Topiary can be a great way to provide privacy and create a secret haven without the expense of a fence. It also boasts welcome noise-reducing properties if you live near the road.

10. Aim for fuss-free landscaping if you’re short on time

Front garden design ideas don’t have to be time-consuming to make a big difference to your home. Putting aside just a day or two can be enough for a quick redesign.

Keeping things neat and tidy is the secret, so opt for a simple garden path bordered by some low-maintenance plants.

Using pebbles can be very effective outside coastal homes, with a few simple planters adding a focal point to your garden.

Pots from tutor Chris Beardshaw's container gardening course

Want to learn more?

If you’ve been inspired by these front garden design ideas, then take a look at our online gardening courses to help you put this theory into practice. Our container gardening or planting design courses are the perfect place to start.

Recommended course

Designing Small Gardens taught by Annie Guilfoyle

Learn how to design for a small garden or outdoor space with award-wining garden designer Annie Guilfoyle.

View courseAll Gardening courses

Jemima Armfield

Digital marketing manager, content creator and head of tutor relations, I'm here to make sure everyone is getting the support they need throughout their studies at Learning with Experts.

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