Exterior décor is often focused on the back yard. That’s because urban design puts the kids play-space (or garden shed) in the back. The front of such houses is public.
Meaning your door may open right into the street, or into a shared apartment hallway. So if you do have a front garden, you want to maximise its aesthetic appeal. Let’s find a few front garden ideas.
1. Hug the Wall
Your front garden is your visual welcome mat. It invites people into your home (or sends them scampering away. So you want your space to be clean and clutter-free. If you love bog blossoms but you don’t want to crowd your space, position the larger plants closer to the perimeter wall. That way, there’s an open clearing and no visual blockages along the path.
2. Lovely Layers
It’s not just hair that looks great in layers. Your front garden is the perfect setting for a flowery slope. Take advantage of the staircase and use its width as a marker for your garden. This looks good and will also help prevent soil erosion and run-off on those drizzly days. Plus rain is great for flowers so you’ll always have a colourful ‘organic welcome mat’ for guests.
3. Garden Window
Sometimes, limitations provide opportunities. Even if you don’t have a yard in front of your door, you can still have a front garden. This home has a front-facing window ledge. The finishings are neglected, so maybe don’t replicate the idea. Instead, use wood framing and distressed paint to give your window a retro look, then place a few potted plants outside.
4. Open Shed
That little patch of land behind the house makes a great workshop or tool shed. But you can mimic the concept in the front garden as well. Erect a small workbench and embellish it with potted flowers. These pots can also serve as a nursery for seedlings before you move to the main yard. This is a workspace, but your tools, ladders, and funnels can still be aesthetic.
5. Cute and Cosy
Front garden ideas can be quite simple. In this case, the front want is rustic red brick. Plant ivy creepers on either side of the wall and transport your home back in time by replacing the solid wood with a two-door arched entryway. Highlight your greenery by painting the door in the same bright shade as the vines that flank it. Fallen leaves become part of the appeal.
6. Contemporary Couture
Our previous front garden idea was cloistered but well lit. If your yard is at the other extreme with wide-open spaces, you can aim for flatter landscaping. Here, the deck sits on a base of loose gravel with cobblestone edging. The surrounding area is carefully manicured grass that allows a clear view of the entire front garden. Anyone for a round of garden golf?
7. Fabulous Front
In many homes, the entertaining area is at the back. So if you’re blessed with a big front yard, enjoy it. This garden combines hardscaping with landscaping. Flowerbeds and grassy knolls are framed with curvy stone edging. The walls, hedges, and ground paving are mixed shades of red brick, grey concrete, and stacked brownstone peppered with grassy lawns and shrubs.
8. Front Terrace
Here’s a front garden idea built for urban dwellers. If your only outdoor space is a street-facing balcony, make it more inviting to passing traffic. Choose plants that have bright, colourful flowers – and that won’t be killed by dust and smog. Hanging baskets are a good idea and create less mess. You can also put a chair and some floating flower troughs.
9. Private Patio
This family is living the dream – their front yard faces a gorgeous lake! But whether your garden offers a beachside view or street-side cacophony, privacy matters. Plant a row of evergreens at the outer edge of the front yard. The treeline absorbs noise, dust, and pollution, offering refreshed scents and a cosy hangout spot for your lawn furniture.
10. Garden Lights
You can’t quite see the front garden in this photo – the angles are all wrong. But you can’t explore front garden ideas without getting into lighting. This simple fairy-light setting turns your bug-filled garden into a romantic evening spot. You’ll have to install a few bug zappers as well. And if your blinking bulbs aren’t certified for outdoor use, get LEDs instead.
11. Garden-Led Construction
Most of the time, you’ll start with the house then upgrade the garden. But you could reverse the order. Whether you’re erecting your home from scratch or putting together a garden shed, consider glass walls. They give a clearer view of the front garden and you can always use curtains, draped, or glass that’s auto-tinted, fogged or mirrored to preserve decency.
12. Low-Fuss Cactus
Maybe you don’t have a green thumb. So you might be worried about front garden ideas that will expose your lack of farming skills. Luckily, even the worst herbalist can grow cactus. They need minimal attention and hardly any soil or water. They’ll add character to your front yard and you can lay them on a bed of no-mess gravel, sand, or glossy pebbles.
13. Grass Framing
For those lucky enough to live in sandy neighbourhoods, whitewashed walls are common. They’re better for the weather and because the dust is sand-coloured too, they’re easy to maintain. So to add a little colour to your yard, consider flanking your front steps with wispy grass. Make sure it’s a species that’s hardy and can withstand the climate in your area.
14. Minty Magic
This urban home is going for the suburban vibe and doing it well. The yard is mostly covered in concrete but a small portion beneath the window has been sectioned off and kerbed in. The home has mint green walls and tinted green windows, so opt for busy, colourful flowers that upgrade the understated home exteriors. And be careful not to splash mud on the wall!
15. More Garden Windows
When your home has no front garden, the architects try to make up for it with lots of front-facing natural light. So this home has French windows and a deep ledge that’s just screaming for front garden ideas. Put a selection of planters there so they can casually reach for the sun.
16. Wire Stacks
Front garden ideas often include some type of hedge or edging. But if your flat is city-based, you may worry about your building restrictions. If your garden space is tiny, you can still install a stacked stone hedge. Just seal it behind a steel mesh fence to avoid chipped stones.
17. Bulbous Pots of Flowers
Voluminous flower arrangements make a big statement. And they need a massive flowerpot to match. So if you have a small balcony or a few front steps but no garden as such, consider terracotta pots. You could arrange fresh flowers regularly, or use the pots for large leafy species. The petals (or enlarged leaves) should be colourful to contrast the aged clay pot.
18. Lovely Laurel
Potted plants are awesome, but what about potted trees? If your home is fully urban with no greenery in sight, make the most of your concrete jungle space. This house opens into the street, so a colourful flower pot on the window ledge is paired with a laurel tree beside the door. To continue the rustic theme, the spot has a vintage lantern and a weathered cherub.
19. Bird, Bath, and Beyond
Front garden ideas aren’t always about greenery. This contemporary courtyard is water-oriented. The front wall stacked stone in various shades with a fountain and a floodlight for evening décor. And if you can’t be bugged with bird-poop, adorn your water feature with highly detailed plastic swans. Carve a planter into the tile and use it for bamboo or reeds.
20. Squares and Circles
Shapes are a big part of outdoor décor. And while we often veer towards circles, squares can be cool too. In this front garden, angular edging sets off flower gardens amid a large grassy yard. The centre cube could hold flowers, a pond, and a paddling pool, or even a Jacuzzi. At the perimeter of the property, rounded brick-coloured edging guards colourful purple flowers.
21. Conifers for Christmas
For the type of family that detests deforestation, why not plant a permanent Christmas tree in your front yard? On this unfinished site, a round planter houses a blue spruce tree. Come Christmas time, that tree will be the highlight of your garden, even without twinkling lights.
22. Shoe House
Interior décor experts will tell you small touches make all the difference. Landscapers will go to the other extreme with grand ideas. But when you have minimal space and a big personality, you need to think outside the (shoe) box. This front garden uses shoe-shaped terracotta pots to house bright yellow chrysanthemums. They light up the whole street.
23. Little Gardens
At fancy clubs, the front door (or VIP spot) is sectioned off with velvet rope. At home, create a little garden right next to the door. Excavate the soil in the section and unpaved it if needed, then mark it off with poles and rope or chain links. You can mount a curb or arrange potted plants behind the partition. The green pairs well with the grey wood and screen walls.
24. Mixed Media
This front garden idea needs a lot of space and intense planning. You may also need to substitute your grand plans for locally available materials. Otherwise, you’ll spend a lot on transport. This front garden is built around an aged tree trunk. The tree is surrounded by a knee-high stone hedge smothered in pretty creepers. A newer hedge protects your flowers.
25. Classy Colours
The colour wheel isn’t just for nursery schools charts. This front garden playground is a quirky mix of style and tone. A bright yellow wheelbarrow houses purple flowers with small green leaves. The monkey bars are bright blue and the entry arch intertwined with flowery yellow vines. Green plant troughs frame the bottom of the garden, supporting the rail fence.
26. Homely Waterfall
One more idea for front garden lovers who prefer a watery space. The front terrace of this high-end home has water cascading over a series of knee-high fences of stacked stone. A row of stylish clay jars lie next to the walls and they heighten the waterfall effect. There’s greenery all around this front garden water feature so leaves occasionally stray into the stream. Pretty!!
27. Wellies and Converse
In lots of homes, shoes are left at the door. So why not turn your love of sneakers and gumboots into a makeshift front garden? Don’t use active shoes though. Pass by the local flea market or Salvation Army and grab some old knee-high gumboots, rubber shoes, and colourful riding boots. Fill them with blooming bouquets and change twice a week.
28. Pin, Red, and Brown
Turn your brick porch into a terracotta garden. These alfresco spaces are often used for entertaining, so you can use foldable wooden furniture. The porch is covered so the wood doesn’t have to be stained. This maintains the natural red and brown tone of the bricks, curvy clay pots, and dust-coloured tiles. Bright pink flowers adorn the potted front garden.
29. Sweetly Simple
On occasion, your front yard provides its own organic garden ideas. Standing at the steps of this home, the tarmac driveway leads down to the lake. So don’t spoil that natural beauty with fussy décor. Plant trees with variegated leaves so you get a different shade each season as they fall and litter the yard in beauty. Live fences flank the road for privacy and style.
30. Pedestals and Flowers
Those grand institutional archways are often framed by lion sculptures and gargoyles. But front garden ideas should be softer at home. Erect waist-hight pillars as an entryway to your home and lay a paving path between them that leads to the house. On each pillar, position a planter bright welcoming flowers. Frame the pathway with a similar series of colourful plants.
31. Towering Tropics
If you live in a wooded area, your front garden probably has a natural leafy canopy. So work with your surroundings. Don’t fuss with delicate flowers. Lean into the green. Consider digging a pond or creating a small stream then mounting a bamboo bridge across it. It’ll be a tiny bridge – more for the style than function. But make it strong enough to step without falling.
How big is your front garden? Is it a tiny city ledge or a massive plantation that kisses the horizon? And what front garden ideas are you playing with? Tell us in the comments!