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Ideas for front garden

Hello,

I am looking for any kind of ideas for this front garden (attaching photos). I want to make it nicer and introduce some changes. It's not a full blank canvas, but please suggest anything you think, as long as it's not too costly (doing lots of other works in the house/back garden so want to keep this expense to a minimum for the time being).

I know these things are very personal and in terms of plants I'll definitely have a look to choose myself, it's mostly about structure that I am without a clue (e.g. a medium size shrub here, a path there, etc).

One thing is that I don't want to block the view too much, the garden and the house are elevanted with respect to the road, and the house is actually far from the road so privacy is not a concern.

- The middle circle: this has to go away, I don't like it at all.
- Would maybe want some hedges in the road/driveway sides but nothing too tall, just to add a bit of structure?
- The tree will stay there
- Paving: this is the part that I have no idea how to tackle. Anything is welcome. For example, the path that goes to the left on the driveway seems very weird to me, like a path to nowhere. 

Maybe have just one single path in the whole garden? maybe a bit curved

- The two patches of grass which are closer to the house: the one on the left has a rose bush, which after some deliberation I decided to keep. I'd like some planting under it, at the moment I just have a few crocus/tulips/iris bulbs that I planted in the autumn, but they cover only a tiny portion. The rest is just random grass/foliage which looks ugly.

The patch on the right: it's mostly random grass/foliage, with a lot of crocus that appeared in February. Would like something nicer. Again, I'd avoid something tall.












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  • I'd suggest straight, direct paths for a front garden that go between places you need to get to and from. A meandering path in a shrubby back garden is lovely to enjoy the space, but if you out one in the front your postman and delivery drivers will either hate you or just cut corners and trample your flower beds.

    It's worth thinking about your style. You could do low, formal hedging lining the edges and path with shrubs, bulbs etc in the beds. Or you could add veg beds, raspberry canes and edible foliage.

    If you are on a tight budget then growing from seed or propogating cuttings is much cheaper than buying plants, but also much slower.
  • DedekindDedekind Posts: 171
    Thanks!

    Maybe I forgot to say, actual access to the house is via the driveway and stairs on the left, or via the stairs on the right dividing us from next door.
  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 10,992
    I agree that people take the most direct route regardless, so a straight path is probably best. You can use planting to soften the edges. The idea of a hedge is a good one, l'm guessing you are on a fairly busy road, and research shows that they can cut down on air pollution.
    https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/type-(1)/hedges/Hedges-choices-with-environmental-benefits
    Are you planning on keeping the grass (sorry if l misunderstood your post) ? I'm a bit confused (nothing new there 😳) - is the circle and path merely for decorative purposes rather than actually used ?
  • DedekindDedekind Posts: 171
    AnniD said:
    I agree that people take the most direct route regardless, so a straight path is probably best. You can use planting to soften the edges. The idea of a hedge is a good one, l'm guessing you are on a fairly busy road, and research shows that they can cut down on air pollution.
    https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/type-(1)/hedges/Hedges-choices-with-environmental-benefits
    Are you planning on keeping the grass (sorry if l misunderstood your post) ? I'm a bit confused (nothing new there 😳) - is the circle and path merely for decorative purposes rather than actually used ?

    Yeah they are not really used -- I mean, they are used by us to "walk" in the front garden if you want, but the entrance is on either side of the garden. You can't see in the photos, but it is elevated, so when the garden ends there is a ~1m retaining wall. No one goes through the actual garden to come into the house, unless they climb the wall.

    The slope gets a bit more pronounced towards the end, which is why the path has some steps and a hand rail -- but again, they go to nowhere, so they are pointless to me.
  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,507
    You actually have the makings of a formal partarre


  • Ah, I thought the path had a purpose!

    In that case I think first get clear in your head what you want the function of the garden to be. Is it to sit in? Is it just to look at? Is it to be productive? Then design accordingly. If you want it productive then some specific cut flower beds, possibly with low hedging for structure might be nice. Or herb beds near the house.
  • DedekindDedekind Posts: 171
    Ah, I thought the path had a purpose!

    In that case I think first get clear in your head what you want the function of the garden to be. Is it to sit in? Is it just to look at? Is it to be productive? Then design accordingly. If you want it productive then some specific cut flower beds, possibly with low hedging for structure might be nice. Or herb beds near the house.

    Function is just to look at
    AnniD said:
    I agree that people take the most direct route regardless, so a straight path is probably best. You can use planting to soften the edges. The idea of a hedge is a good one, l'm guessing you are on a fairly busy road, and research shows that they can cut down on air pollution.
    https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/type-(1)/hedges/Hedges-choices-with-environmental-benefits
    Are you planning on keeping the grass (sorry if l misunderstood your post) ? I'm a bit confused (nothing new there 😳) - is the circle and path merely for decorative purposes rather than actually used ?

    Regarding the grass: some parts yes, but I am open to removing some as well. Especially near the road where the garden slopes down, it's very annoying to mow.
  • DedekindDedekind Posts: 171
    Do i need any special care if I want to remove the paving? Mortar is more or less gone so it should be easy I suppose, but do I need to do something if for example I want to put grass there? Other than putting grass seeds on the soil.. 
  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 10,992
    If it's been there a while it probably will lift pretty easily l would guess. Clear the site and then if you want to sow a lawn, preparation is the key. 
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/basics/techniques/lawns_sowlawn1.shtml
  • Cambridgerose12Cambridgerose12 Posts: 1,044
    edited March 2021
    Dedekind said:
    Do i need any special care if I want to remove the paving? Mortar is more or less gone so it should be easy I suppose, but do I need to do something if for example I want to put grass there? Other than putting grass seeds on the soil.. 
    I don't think it will be too hard to take up the crazy paving. It's a particular garden style, but it's a bit pointless (IMO) to have paths which you will never use, especially given the fun you could have with the space. You'd need to improve the soil well after removing the slabs and mortar.

    I'd think of having a couple of medium-sized shrubs at the end to flank the conifer (whose identity I can't completely make out) and conceal the words 'Bus Stop' from your front window :smiley: . You can't position them too close to the conifer or it will develop unsightly bald patches, so leave a decent space between them, but you could (for example) copy those Dutch gardens where the shrubs are clipped into interesting shapes and blocks. This book is full of good ideas:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Garden-Design-Ideas-Heidi-Howcroft/dp/1845339215/ref=sr_1_3?crid=36CCRAPO4TLEO&dchild=1&keywords=garden+design+a+book+of+ideas&qid=1616533568&sprefix=garden+design+a+,aps,143&sr=8-3

    Then between them, you could grow some interesting grasses and ground-covers to provide contrasts in texture without requiring masses of work--things like Miscanthus sinensis 'Ferner Osten' or Anemanthele lessoniana, coupled with Bergenia 'Bressingham White' and Geranium 'Biokovo', for example, in large groups of each, or other plants that would associate well with your rose. Or else you could have lower-growing shrubs such as Hydrangea quercifolia, Potentilla fruticosa and rosemary; you could adapt your choice to suit your pocket and take advantage of plants that were on sale (street markets and the 'remainder' displays in large garden centres are very good ways to find things, btw). It should be easy to pop in bulbs around all of these, but I'd avoid going for anything too heavy-looking in favour of more sophisticated narcissi like 'Thalia' which will bulk up and flower for a long time, and small bulbs.
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