We love creating stylish, practical and wildlife conscious outdoor spaces, and that includes front gardens too. We believe front gardens deserve as much thought and input as back gardens, if not more – after all they are the first thing to be seen when visitors approach your home, and you probably go through them several times every day. So why not give your front garden/driveway the love it deserves? 

The garden and driveway of this double fronted Victorian property in Penge was crying out for some creative input. We kept it super practical, low key and included a range of easy to look after plants including plenty of shrubs and perennials with a long season of interest and which are beneficial for pollinators.  

This is how the garden looked when we first visited: 

It was an overgrown jumble of grass, weeds and a few shrubs, and was totally at odds with the rest of the stylish and functional house. Access from the front door to the driveway was either across the muddy grass or via the pavement, not ideal when you have young children on a cut-through road where quite a lot of vehicles drive far too fast. 
The budget wasn’t huge for this wide plot but fortunately the brief was for a naturalistic, relaxed and low maintenance space which would provide kerb appeal to match the interiors but also meet the family’s practical needs. The brief was not only right up our street but also meant we could reach for some cost saving design solutions.  

We re-designed the space to include a smart low slatted fence, bin store and new side gate, and large format porcelain stepping stones through Scottish pebbles giving access from the front door to the car and also to the pavement.  

We included a restrained palette of sensible, easy to manage shrubs, perennials and grasses to make it a simple space to look after, with most plants only needing attention a couple of times a year. 

The result is a cool and calming space with tones of grey and green and warmth from the slatted fence against the grey render of the house. The family are delighted with the outcome and regularly receive comments from passers-by about how lovely the garden is and how nice it is to see a plant filled front garden – this has helped them to connect with their local community more too. Gardens are good for us in so many ways! 

Including structural plants such as a multistem Amelanchier, grasses and small shrubs such as Lavender, Choisya White Dazzler and Euphorbia means that the garden looks good all year round, and then comes alive in the summer with flowering perennials and grasses.  

We also introduced some low planting along the front of the house, in and around the parking space – who says plants and cars don’t mix? 

We pop back a few times a year to help keep it all looking neat and tidy – cutting back the perennials and grasses, shaping shrubs, making sure everything is ready for the growing season ahead. High quality garden care is just as important as good design and we firmly believe there is no point in having one without the other!  

The garden was built and planted 4 years ago for around £12,000. It is a relatively wide urban front garden of approximately 14m in width and 5.5m deep. If the same work was carried out now we would expect it to cost in the region of £15,000-£20,000.  

If you would like help transforming your front garden (with or without a driveway) into a naturalistic, wildlife friendly space with masses of kerb appeal, get in touch and send us some photos. We can then arrange a time for an initial chat on the phone to discuss how we could help you with this. Because all front gardens should be beautiful!