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Front garden inspiration

The front garden of our new house is in a bad way - some sorry looking box and a selection of weeds 😬 we're on a tight budget so I was thinking of covering the paved area with weed blocking membrane and then gravel/stones, and then maybe rosemary or lavender in the four corner beds. I've no idea what to do on the other side of the path.

Welcome to suggestions for something more exciting albeit cheap and cheerful!!

thanks :-)


  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 4,358
    The path and the edging tiles are lovely! And the box would look good clipped into balls, cones etc.  The weeds don't look too bad either - an hour or two forking over the beds should sort most of them out. The block-paved area might look much better if cleaned - maybe you could borrow a pressure washer and give it a go before forking out for membrane and gravel etc, then you could spend a bit more on some plants for the other side.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 8,235
    I agree with Jenny about the rope edging and the path. I see that there are what looks like 4 square beds on the right hand side. It depends on how keen you are when it comes to plants etc. but just forking them over and weeding will improve things for a start. The weeds on the right hand side may be difficult to dig out as they look like the ones with a long tap root, you could use weedkiller if you wanted to, but at this time of year it is fairly easy to dug down and extract them. Again, just forking over the soil in front of the plants will improve the look. If you can afford to hire (or can borrow one), a power washer will make a lot of difference to the paving. Just be careful with any loose mortar,  and personally l would keep it away from the tiled path.
    You could buy some bulbs in pots from the garden centre to give some instant colour in the next few weeks, and they will come back each year. There are also things such as pansies, violas or bellis daisies if you want some instant colour,  but if your budget is really tight you might not want to do that.
    Do you know if the site is sunny or shady ? Does it get the sun for a few hours each day? 
  • I LOVE that path!

    Here's an image I found that might help inspire you.

  • thanks for your help, really useful!

    We also love the path and rope edging...long term plan is to get the path restored but for now it's just a (gentle) wash to smarten it up.

    It's north facing but there's nothing blocking the light so does get some sun. We've actually got an olive tree that's probably getting too big for its pot so maybe we could put that in one of the beds....?
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 7,787
    Whereabouts are you Kate?  If you're in London or the South-east then the olive tree will be fine planted in the ground and I'm thinking the small square bed in front of the window would be best to give you some privacy but not block the light too much. However if you live in somewhere colder, the olive might not survive a winter. A quick weeding session and some bright cheap yellow daffs - Tete-n-tete is a good 'doer' would work wonders. if you don't want to powerwash the blocks and personally I wouldn't (makes too much mess) , you could just use a patio cleaner called Algon (about £7-£8) dilute it down and use watering can to apply. It's biological so not harmful to plants or pets. Good luck.
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 4,079
    For an inexpensive & versatile shrub I am becoming a fan of pittosporum there are different varieties but all are easy to grow. If you want instant impact buy 3 small plants but put them in closely and treat as one shrub. You can let them grow or clip to desired shape with shears. You can even grow them as a small hedge if you want to edge a bed.
    AB Still learning

  • RedSquirrelAbroadRedSquirrelAbroad Brussels Posts: 74
    The layout reminds me of a mini French-style potager, so you could take inspiration from that and plant other herbs like chives, thyme etc. to go alongside your lavender and rosemary. They are not very expensive, good for wildlife, you can even eat them and they might be more exciting than a shrub? 😉 
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,532
    No-one's mentioned the golden rule when moving to a new house in autumn/winter - wait and see what comes up.  (Unless of course it's a house you've been walking past for years and you know what's there.)  If previous occupants have planted spring bulbs, they'll be poking their noses through the surface any day now.  Some perennials will be starting to emerge soon, others not until well on in the spring.

    In the meantime, you can get on with the cleaning and weeding out anything that comes up easily, and on wet days, put your feet up and browse catalogues for inspiration. 
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