Having a front garden can be an excellent opportunity to add some character and kerb appeal to your home. As the focal point of your house, the front garden will be the first thing your neighbours see when they stroll past.
At Marshalls, we understand how hard it can be to create the perfect front garden, which is why we are here to help navigate you through ideas and styles that best suit you. Even if you have a small front garden or a garden that’s oddly shaped, you shouldn’t be worried about designing something that’s right for you.
With our planting scheme, driveways, garden paths, garden walling and edging ideas, you will be able to design and create to your heart's content without breaking the bank!
Below, we have created a guide to help inspire your next front garden design project, setting out a range of different limited maintenance options for your small front garden ideas as well as budgeting tips.
The best low-maintenance front garden ideas
1. Playful front garden paths
Drivesett® Tegula in Pennant Grey
Pebbled or natural stone garden paths are both great options for adding an instant sense of classic elegance to your garden.
But, with a wide range of different stones available, choosing the right one for your garden can sometimes be tricky! Try thinking about the colours and architecture of your home’s exterior walls to help inspire you and ensure that, when complete, the entire design scheme feels beautifully sleek and coherent.
If, for example, you have a grey house with a white door, focus on matching your path to the existing colour scheme. Sticking to your home's overall colour palette will help keep your house looking fresh and tidy, and tie the outdoors to the indoors effortlessly.
For more ideas and tips on how to choose the right colour scheme for your garden path, try using our interactive garden design tools.
2. Front garden paving
Drivesys® Cobble in Iron Grey and Canvas
One of the most scenic elements in a garden is the paving design. It plays an important role in determining the layout of your garden. Garden paving gives you the benefits of durability and toughness and it requires little effort to keep it in good condition.
With the help of garden paving, you can either complement your colour palette or go for something more striking. Sticking to a colour scheme will help make your garden appear coherent and polished but there’s no harm in being contrasting either. Don’t be afraid to add a pop of colour, or perhaps a patterned paver, if you feel it would make your front garden stand out!
Add colour as part of your small front garden ideas by planting popping bright yellow, warm orange, relaxing purple, or eye-catching red low-maintenance plants alongside your garden paving.
3. Kerbs and edging
Drivesett® 4 in 1 Kerb
Frame your front garden with kerbs and edging. This will keep your flower beds neat and create a manicured look outside your home.
Proper edging stones will distinguish your design features, guarantee the longevity of your flowerbeds and make the overall look and feel of your outdoor spaces much more polished.
Make gardening as well as mowing the lawn simple and easy by installing a garden edge. Lawns can want to grow in every direction, take over your garden beds and absorb all the nutrients and water available. This is why edging in your garden is so important to ensure you manage the distribution of water to all areas of your garden whilst creating a complete, tidy and neat look.
4. Low-maintenance driveways
Symphony® Plus Driveway in Grey
A well-paved driveway is practical, low maintenance, and adds value to your home. Create harmony with our SYMPHONY® Plus Driveway which will make your front garden look sleek and modern.
You could also opt for something else more contemporary like our range of Fairstone Setts, giving your front garden lots of texture and character. Or maybe you’d like to heat things up with our Drivesys® Flamed Stone.
5. Gorgeous garden walling
Stoneface® Sawn Veneer Walling in Autumn Bronze
Trees are the perfect boundary for privacy, but unless you have the budget for ones which are already well established, you’ll have to patiently wait for them to grow before you achieve full privacy. For those looking for something more immediate, we have garden walling options which are cost-effective, require little upkeep, and will bring some style to your front garden design.
Why not use garden walling to replace that old front fence? Brick walling, natural stone walling, and pitched face are a few popular choices. If you have a well-built garden wall that needs a facelift, you could consider some of our veneer walling ideas, which include Stoneface Sawn Veneer walling in Silver Multi an extremely durable material which will make your outdoor look polished with contemporary elegance.
If you’re after something more striking, think about using Stoneface Drystack Veneer Walling. This will give your wall a rustic look, transforming the entire aesthetic of your front garden with next-to-no effort. Veneer walling can be done as a DIY project; if you choose to buy from Marshalls you’ll receive everything you need within the pack.
6. Reuse materials
Reusing or repurposing old materials by giving them a new lease of life in your front garden is a fantastic way to help protect the environment and save some money whilst you’re at it!
You might have some old bricks or paving slabs lying around from a previous project, for example. These can provide the perfect material to use when creating retaining walls, pathways or even your very own barbeque station.
Even if they’re broken or crumbling, don’t get rid! You can always place them into wired gabions which can serve as tasteful bordering along your garden’s perimeter or borders.
If you don’t quite have enough of a particular material to complete your front garden design project, you can supplement whatever you do have to hand with reclaimed materials from garden centres or private sellers online. You might even be able to grab a bargain by taking materials off someone’s hands for free!
7. Potted plants and trees
Drivesett® Argent in Dark
Depending on the design of your front garden, the use of pots can be an effective, eye-catching addition. Plant pots allow you to grow certain types of flowers and shrubs that would not be able to survive in your soil. Plant some lavender to create that soothing scent of tranquillity and add interest with its beautiful pastel colours.
You can also change your garden design by simply redecorating, picking up the pots and moving them somewhere else. This method has the added the benefit of not damaging the roots of other plants when uprooting and relocating a plant from the garden.
When you are selecting your garden pots, keep in mind that larger pots are lower maintenance than smaller pots which tend to need watering on a far more regular basis.
8. Vintage pots and planters
Tempo® Original in Raven
When it comes to adding planters and pots to your front garden, look at what we already have that could be re-used, before going and buying new. Older pots and even wooden pallets can be upcycled with a lick of exterior paint.
Something to consider in purchasing pots, new or second-hand, is whether your pots are frost-proof. You want to avoid having to incur the costs of a large planter which then cracks when it gets cold in winter. A frost-proof pot may not be something you have thought about but could be something to keep in mind if you intend to have plants during the winter. If you’re re-painting old pots, make sure you use materials which will protect them whatever the weather.
Placing an old stepladder outside in your front garden and utilising the rungs to hold potted plants is a fantastic, low-cost way to transform your garden without much effort.
You can transform a wooden stepladder into a fun, space-saving feature with little more than a lick of paint! For a classic, more minimalist look go for a white, grey or neutral colour or, for something a bit more quirky, consider painting the ladder in a bright colour such as red, yellow or blue!
10. Hanging baskets
Drivesys® Original Cobble in Iron Grey and Canvas
Create a floating flower bed with hanging baskets around your front door or on the front patio. Whether you suspend pots from a tree branch or fix them directly onto garden walls, hanging baskets are a quick and easy way to bring visual interest into your outdoor spaces.
Think carefully about the placement of your hanging baskets, though, as you’ll want to make sure that they are able to get enough sunlight for the plants to thrive.
11. Window boxes
Tegula Kerb in Pennant Grey
Similar to hanging baskets, window boxes make for a fantastic, low-maintenance addition to any front garden. They’re especially effective in cottage-style gardens or outside homes that have a more quaint, rustic aesthetic. Window boxes can be planted with colourful flowers to bring a pop of energy and springtime cheer into your space or with aromatic herbs to create your very own kitchen garden directly outside your kitchen window.
A window box could be used alongside a garden path or patio area and can even be installed at both ground and first-floor level! Perfect for terraced homes with limited outdoor space to play with.
12. Solar lights
There is nothing that creates ambience and atmosphere more than fairy lights twinkling in the trees or along your fence. Electric lights can be quite expensive so if you’re on a tighter budget then maybe consider opting for solar-powered lights or lanterns. Not only are these easier to install but they will also help to keep your electricity bills down.
Most homeware shops and garden centres offer solar lights at low cost. You can simply hang them in a tree, place in a pot plant or drape around the door of your house to create an extra twinkly entrance.
Get a low-maintenance front garden with Marshalls
Marshalls has a wide range of products and services to help you create the a front garden that will let you make the most of your home’s outdoor spaces. From our selection of garden paths which are practical and playful to our range of driveway pavers and paving, our teams are here to help you with your next landscaping project. Get in touch with us today for expert advice and support on how to create the perfect low-maintenance front garden.
What can I put in my front garden instead of grass?
Some great alternatives to having grass in your front garden could be gravel, pebbles or stones. Not only do they add some variety to your outdoor space but they can also help you listen out for any unexpected visitors turning up at your home.
For the ultimate low-maintenance solution, though, consider installing a paved patio area in your front garden. This will help to prevent weeds from growing, aid water runoff during wetter months and provide the perfect setting for garden furniture.
How can I make my front garden look nice?
Choosing the right front garden design is ultimately up to you but we would recommend writing or drawing down a plan before you begin. This can help you piece together the perfect-looking front garden. You can’t go wrong with adding flowers and other greenery to your front garden. Embracing nature is never a bad thing and can create a very inviting home, and is good for the environment too.
What is the most low-maintenance outdoor plant?
Ornamental grasses! These plants grow tall during the summer but as the season ends, the plant produces pink flowers with a fuzzy appearance and texture. You can have these plants all year round with little maintenance needed and with each season, you’ll be surprised with something new to spice up your outdoor space.