The front garden makeover in this case study had a driveway either side of it and a small lawn at the front. The design needed to be viewed from all angles and be welcoming as you approached the house from the road, whilst also looking good from the view from the window. Front-garden-before So how do you go about creating a garden that looks good from every angle?

Step 1 Choose a shape that enhances the space and looks good from whichever point you view it.

The easiest way to do that is to choose a shape that is simple. If you try to use irregular curve shapes in a small space, it never looks right. So, keep it simple and base the shape on a circle or box shape.

Step 2 Make sure that the shape you choose enhances the area.

Again, circles are wonderful for making any space look larger. Simplicity really is key. If you try and overcomplicate things, it will never look right.

Step 3 Make it interesting with a clever choice of materials or focal points.

You don’t have to fill every last space in your planting borders with plants. If you use a gravel and cobble mulch, you can leave areas of empty space so that you can clearly view the cobbles. This creates additional space and makes borders more interesting, and it’s also low maintenance because you have less plants. If you are going to use a gravel or cobble mulch, make sure you put down a good weed suppressant membrane that will help keep the maintenance low.

You can see in our example garden that we edged the lawn with pavers to match the driveway. This created continuity with the existing materials and it also kept the maintenance lower because it meant the lawn didn’t need to be edged and would never lose its shape. The shape also mimicked the fencing panels, which furthered continuity in the design.Front-garden-AFTER The curved shape pointing outwards from the house helped make the area look longer from within the house as well as creating a welcoming shape as you approach from the road.

You don’t have to spend a fortune and it doesn’t have to be difficult!

This is a really simple makeover. It didn’t need anything overly fancy or ‘designery’, nor did it need a small fortune spending on it. Design shapes are what REALLY make the difference, not how complex you make it or how much money you spend!

Circles and curves really are your best friend in the garden, just having a simple shape like this on your lawn and patio area makes a tremendous difference. Even though we were unable to fit a whole circle or semicircle into the space, the design shape did originate from a circle. Never underestimate the power of the circle, it’s why garden designers use them so much!

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Rachel Mathews
Rachel Mathews

Professional international garden designer for over 30 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!

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