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Ideas for small concrete front garden

kirsty.d.moorekirsty.d.moore Posts: 4
edited June 2020 in Garden design
We're lucky enough to have a large, green back garden but our front is pretty dismal. There is only a flat brick border separating the path from us (same level). We've lived with it for years but I'm really sick of cigarette butts, even dog mess being left on our 'garden'. I'm keen to do it myself and was thinking about making or buying a raised garden bed to go inside the front brick rectangle with then maybe a potted bay tree inside but that's the extent of my design ideas. Looking to include a 'front' of some sort (even just beds) to differentiate between our garden and the path. Concrete under the gravel. Thanks for any suggestions.

Posts

  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 1,516
    The raised bed idea is a good one but you need a deep raised bed for a tree. Bay trees aren't hardy so do need a bit of protection in very cold weather, also tempting to steal.
    Not sure on how much sun you get but spring bulbs and summer bedding, small neat evergreens like festuca. heucheras, cyclamen, begonias, busy lizzies will work in shade.
    Won't stop cigarette butts but would stop inconsiderate owners allowing the dogs to poo

  • ronagronag Posts: 1
    I'd build a wall about 3ft high. It's enough to keep dogs out and you shouldn't get cigarette ends, by accident at any rate. Remove and maybe save the gravel for later and get a mechanical aid to break up the concrete. Once you've removed the concrete, you'll be able to plant into soil. Anything growing in the soil needs less watering than if it was in a tub or even a raised bed. I'd strongly suggest you plant a few shrubs e.g Viburnam Bodnantese Dawn will grow tall over the years but can be kept at a height to suit you. It flowers for a long period and has a lovely scent. Genista Lydia is a real contrast. It only grows about 12 -18" high but will spread given time. It becomes a mound of bright yellow in May. It prefers a not over-rich soil. These two shrubs might be enough for the bed you've created by the wall. After planting spread the gravel over the remaining bare soil and you'll have a trouble free garden which passers-by are more likely to respect.
    Good luck!
  • rebeccamM6CA_Gn6rebeccamM6CA_Gn6 Beckenham, kentPosts: 132
    If it's purely flat and open from the public pathway into you front garden, I should think that a nice looking barrier will get the message across. However anything in the front garden that's close to the house and over 5 ft tall is a little bit imposing and can decimate light for other plants, not to mention your front room. Yes I agree a 3ft high perimeter structure would help, perhaps try something reclaimed / recycled? I agree also that one or two raised beds would be a great idea! Meanwhile you could also grow a tree at the outer corner for some privacy and all year round interest and structure, these trees are wonderful for container growing, adding height and texture, so long as the pot is large enough (not sure on you aspect or wind exposure though!)

    Acer (although they don't like wind etc)

    My favourite and great for pollinators - Flowering dogwood

    Persian Silk Tree (Albizia Julibrissin)
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 6,308
    Hello Kirsty and welcome to the forum. What you could might depend perhaps on whether you are renting or not. What have your neighbours done with their fronts? It may be the case that front hedges/walls/fences are not allowed in your area. You could try several rectangular wooden planters in a row, perhaps even the ones with trellis fixed to their backs so you could some short climbers or tall annuals, with spring bulbs for more interest. They'd be heavier to steal hopefully, rather than a potted bay in a pot.
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