Front garden design makeover – Case study

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.

FrontGarden

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.

Frontgarden1

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…

Register on this page: https://www.successfulgardendesign.com/freeclasses/

 

Questions or comments?

Leave them in the box below!

Comments

comments

About Rachel Mathews

Professional international garden designer for over 20 years. My mission is to de-mystify garden design and make it easy for people to successfully design their own garden - without needing to spend a fortune!

Comments

  1. It looks lovely. Love the concept of incorporating plantings into the small paving stones.

  2. Rachel what's the white construction one can see at the extreme right of the 'before' picture – looks like a building with a down drain (garage maybe?) BTW love the idea of thyme. J

  3. I think its great that you’re changing the stigma that a front garden has to be ONLY function, no form. Where I’m from that stigma is very real, and builders have no interest in changing their ways. May I ask, how you approached the builder to allow you to do a design such as this? Or was this a customer request?

    • Hi Jordan,

      Thank you! I only work with good contractors that are happy to follow a plan and work to their client’s wishes. I tend to use landscapers as opposed to builders as they are more used to this type of work. So you shouldn’t have an issue if you’re working with the right people!

Leave a Reply

Every business has got to have one these days, so here it is - Disclaimer: Please note, the information contained on this website is for educational purposes only. Every attempt has been made to provide accurate, up-to-date, reliable, and complete information. No warranties of any kind are expressed or implied. Readers acknowledge that the author is not engaging in rendering professional advice. By reading this website, the reader agrees that under no circumstances is the author responsible for any losses, direct or indirect, that are incurred as a result of use of the information contained within this website or related downloads, accompanying videos, or other supplementary materials. This includes but is not limited to errors, omissions, or inaccuracies. The material contained on this website is not meant to be a substitute for formal training nor a replacement for professional training or services. Please note some of the links on the site go to affiliate websites where a small commission is earned if you purchase. Please do your due diligence on all linked to products before buying.   Find Rachel on Google+
Google+ Google