Front gardens can be difficult to get right because often as not, they have to be functional, to accommodate the car and driveway or utility area for bins.
Just because a driveway is there, it doesn’t mean to say that the area should not be treated as a garden and be made to look beautiful.
So how do you go about making a practical space a beautiful one?
Step 1 Design it as if it were a garden first, then make it practical.
This is the most important part of the design process. If you get too bogged down in the practicalities of having a functional driveway or a place to store the bins etc., then you often won’t be able to come up with something that looks pretty.
Whereas if you tackle it the other way round and have a garden first and foremost, do the design you’d like to have, and then work out how to accommodate the car and a drive etc., then it becomes much easier to create something of beauty.
Step 2 Get creative with the shapes that you use.
Your front garden doesn’t have to be bland and boring. Experiment using sweeping bold curves, circular shapes, or if you have a very modern house perhaps interlocking block shapes.
If the area is small, try to use shapes and materials that will visually make space larger.
Step 3 Now you need to make it practical.
So, now you’ve designed your front garden as you would had it has been just a garden, we need to start to think about how you can incorporate space for a car or utility area, or whatever your practical needs are for your front garden.
So obviously, you will now need to modify what you’ve already done on paper, but doing it this way round will enable you to create something much more artistic and visually pleasing.
If you have to accommodate a car into your driveway, allow a lot more room than you think you need.
Front garden case study
Before the builders added an extension to this house, the front garden had just been lawn with a few plants. After the building work had finished, there wasn’t much of either left! However, the owners did not want to go back to having a plain old boring lawn. For a start, there’s the additional maintenance of grass cutting, and they thought that it could look better than just grass.
In our case study garden, a bold sweeping curve shape was cut into the tarmac drive and then small natural stone paving slabs were laid in a random bond, mixed with light coloured gravel and planting.
The paving slabs were of a thickness that if they needed an additional car parking space, near where the pot is on the photograph below, they could take the weight without cracking.
Thymes were planted in gaps left in the paving, and these could take being driven on occasionally. This allowed for the area to still look like a garden, yet function as a parking space.
The paving also functioned as a path to the front door as well as around the planting sections. By using the same material all the way through, and in their relatively small sizes, it makes the area appear larger and the consistent use of materials brings clarity to the scheme.
Need more help?
If you’d like to learn more about exactly how you can transform your garden, then check out the online garden design courses I run here at Successful Garden Design.
Learn how to design your garden – Attend one of our FREE Fast Track Garden Design online classes…
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