When it comes to your home, the front is your first chance to make a good impression. Whether you’re thinking of selling, keeping up with the neighbours or simply want to feel proud when you arrive home each day, even a small front garden can add kerb appeal.
If it’s a smaller space that you’re working with, it can be too easy to focus entirely on making it practical. Although you may need room for a driveway, there are still plenty of ways to update the rest of your space to make an impact.
At Marshalls, we know the importance of having a well-maintained and stylish front garden, and we'd like to help you transform it with the ideas in this article. Scroll down for our favourite small front garden ideas to help get your creative juices flowing and transform your front garden into the space you've always wanted.
Here are our top 16 small garden ideas to transform your outdoor space:
1. Fill your garden with flora
Make the most of your small front garden with colourful plants and flowers. From the front door to the boundary, you could opt for a rigid planting scheme with specific colours and plants or choose a wide range of different shades and sizes for a more organic feel.
When choosing which flowers to plant, make sure that they're in bloom for most of the year. This way, you’ll be able to admire these bursts of colour all year round, and you won’t need to spend too much time maintaining them. Filling your garden with plants is also a great way to entice wildlife into your garden and increase biodiversity.
Good evergreen foliage includes the tea plant (Camellia sinensis), Mexican orange (Choisya), California lilac (Ceanothus), and Daphne. Catmint (Nepeta racemosa), ivy (Hedera helix), common honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum), and New York aster (Aster Novi-belgii) cultivars are other British front garden plant classics.
2. Use climbing plants
Vertically landscaping your front garden can make a big impact in a small space.
Several climber plants can thrive throughout the four seasons of British weather, particularly the evergreen climbers, common ivy and silk tassel bush (Garrya elliptica). Honeysuckle and jasmine (Jasminum) are also good choices for climbers.
Although you may want to prune the wall climbers from time to time, allowing the plants to grow freely across the face of your house can give your garden a distinct appearance that develops over time.
3. Grow a floral archway
Nothing gives the illusion of depth more than a corridor of plants leading to your front door.
As with climbing plants, creating a floral archway is another great way to grow your garden vertically instead of just horizontally.
To create a sturdy floral archway, you'll need to invest in a few garden arch trellises and plant some climbing flora to wrap around the arches.
We'd recommend installing some outdoor lights (another one of our top garden ideas, which we'll explore further in this article!) as a dense floral archway could use some sparkle!
4. Get creative with your path
Your front garden path doesn't have to follow the typical layout of running from your border to your front door.
If space permits, you could create a circular flowerbed in the centre of your front garden and have your pathing wrap around it. Or, create a curved path lined with colourful plants for a beautiful display.
5. Take a minimal approach with planters
If turning your front garden into a mini forest doesn't appeal to you, take a minimal approach by refining your front plot appearance using planters.
Get creative with different size planters and how you organise them. Having a planter on each side of your door is a classic but impactful way of bringing your front outdoor space to life.
Alternatively, you could arrange several potted flowers along the front of your garden. This can really add some colour and flair to your outdoor space. It also means you can move them around from time to time, if you like some variety!
6. Create walled layers
If space permits, you could create raised flower beds. Segmenting your flower arrangements into raised sections is a way to make your front garden look bigger than it is. You could also group certain plants for greater impact!
7. Create a small lawn
As we've already established in this article, less is more when landscaping your garden and creating a small lawn is a great way to add greenery with less up front cost than lots of plants and pots. If you’ve got a lawn at the back and a mower to hand, a small patch in the front is extremely low maintenance and could be cut within minutes!
8. Add a bench
A small front garden might not be the spot for hosting social gatherings, but that doesn't mean you can't sit and enjoy your outdoor space. Particularly if you're going to the effort of landscaping your front garden, you should find space for a bench to give you a place to sit back and admire it.
Depending on the position of your house, you might get more sun at the front than the back, so make the most of it and get out there with a good book or glass of wine.
9. Illuminate your path with garden lighting
Garden lighting is a simple yet effective way of transforming your garden features and helps keep your garden looking great once the sun has gone down.
Good lighting along your pathway can also illuminate the rest of your front garden, helping you and your family park well and reach the front door safely.
Investing in solar lighting would be the most environmentally-friendly approach to garden lighting. If you don't have a path, you could consider fairy lights to wrap around your evergreen shrubs or hang from your brick wall or fence.
10. Include window boxes
Whether your front garden is full of plants or not, adding some window boxes brimming with flowers could provide the much-needed finishing touches to your outdoor space.
Window sills work best for propping up sizable flower boxes. If you don't have window sills, you could fit some supporting brackets to hang flower boxes.
11. Create a border between your path and your plants
Creating borders to separate your plants from your path adds structure and organisation. Our Fairstone Sawn Versuro® Borders are ideal for keeping your path and your gardening as two separate entities.
As with a number of our pavement border products, these can wrap around your foliage area to create the appearance of a winding path.
Take a look at our kerbs and edging products to create borders in your outdoor space.
12. Construct stepped levels
If there's a significant elevation between your front garden entrance and your front door, we'd recommend constructing a couple of wide steps leading up to your home. This makes your path more level and accessible and also looks great!
Despite your limited space, you could still grow plants on either side of the steps or place potted trees evenly along one side.
13. Choose a wider path
Although you've only got a small space to work with, it doesn't mean you have to have a narrow path.
A narrow path can sometimes emphasise the small scale of your garden, while a path with more breathing space makes your garden appear more sizable. You could further create an expanded feeling by leaving the border between your path and plants undefined.
Marshalls has plenty of products for a garden path which could be used to create the illusion of space in your front garden - and provide practicality, of course!
14. Swap your garden fence for a hedge
If you want your front garden to stand out, but retain some privacy, growing a dense hedge around your garden's perimeter will serve both purposes.
Although a hedge is not as low maintenance as a fence, the likes of a boxwood hedge will only need pruning once or twice a year, and extra foliage will draw more wildlife to your garden too.
15. Construct a garden wall
Constructing a wall is a great small front garden idea, as it can accentuate - or conceal - the landscape work within.Take inspiration from the brickwork of your home to choose the perfect garden walling. From natural stone walling to brick walling, it’s easy to find a material to suit your outdoor space among our ranges.
16. Make the most of your driveway
If off-road parking is what your front garden is primarily used for, you'll likely want to focus on making the driveway look nice first before tackling the rest of your area.
Across the Marshalls ranges, you'll find a multitude of driveway paving ideas , from Drivesys® Original Cobble for a traditional rustic feel to Fairstone Sawn Granite Setts that look great against a modern home.
What are the best foundation plants for the front garden?
The best foundation plants for your front garden include the likes of holly (Ilex aquifolium), rhododendrons, wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei), and boxwood (Buxus).
These evergreen shrubs will keep their verdant colour all year long. Not only that, but they can thrive both in the sunshine and in partial shade, making them perfect for small gardens.
How can I make my small front garden space look nice?
You can make your small front outdoor space look nice by decorating it with evergreen plants, pebbles, and an eye-catching path. The trick is to make your small spaces appear big, by using techniques such as wide paths, walled layers, and raised beds to create the illusion of a big garden.
We'd also recommend considering symmetry when laying down plant pots and shrubbery.
Revamp your small front garden with Marshalls
Take advantage of the tips in this article to transform the look of your home, and use other Marshalls resources to elevate your small spaces and create the outdoor space of your dreams