Why your front garden might need some kerb appeal and how to achieve it this winter
Does your front garden have kerb appeal? What does the space in front of your property say about you? In fact, how often do you look at it, and does it really matter? The chances are that you concentrate on your back garden because its more private and you spend a greater amount of time in it. Front gardens are generally more for show than for play, but they are places through which people walk all year round, whatever the weather.
Formal, clipped forms of box (Buxus) soften the angular shape of this property rather beautifully.
People tend to form judgements
about other people during the first minute of meeting them, based on clothes, manner and appearance. Its much the same when they glance at the front of your property or walk to your door. If the kerb appeal is poor, with space cluttered by old bikes, bins, litter and dead or dying plants, people will tend to assume that the inhabitant is similarly casual and off-hand. So even before they meet you, they will subconsciously think they know what to expect.
Looking dilapidated? People probably wouldn't expect the inhabitants to be very neat, tidy or organised!
Perhaps your decision to look this way is deliberate.
Create something positive
If not, you might want to create a different impression. Improving kerb appeal iIts a lot easier than you might think, and once you start to alter your front garden
you are likely to feel enthused and energised. In fact, changing your surroundings can easily alter the way you feel and behave. In the famous words of Henry Ford
"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got"
Feeling positive could be easier to achieve than you think.
A great job for winter
Clearing clutter and changing the image of your property can make you fee happy! The first two months of the year is the perfect time to improve your image. There are only a few other outdoor winter tasks
needing your attention, so make the most of the window before you are fully engaged in the wonder that is spring. Heres our winter check-list to help improve your kerb appeal:
Sweep up all those old leaves. They present a slip hazard as well as being an eyesore.
There are many different storage options for bins, they aren't the most attractive focal feature of a garden.
Clear debris, including fallen leaves, litter and clutter.
These dirty windows don't make a very good first impression!
Tuck dustbins away tidily preferably out of sight.
You don't need to make your own hedge into a giraffe, but a neat hedge always looks good!
Clean the windows and paintwork or cladding and you'll instantly raise your kerb appeal.
A neat lawn makes the world of difference to a front garden. Don't forget to trim the edges too.
If you have hedges, trim them neatly. Instant kerb appeal!
There's not a lot of appeal for wildlife on a bare hard surface!
If theres grass, cut it and neaten the edges.
Dead plants in odd pots aren't the most attractive feature of a front garden!
Make sure there is some planting in the front garden. According to the RHS, over 20% of front gardens are fully paved with NO plants whatsoever!
Ornamental grasses in stylish, matching pots make a great statement in the front garden.
Remove old flower pots containing plants that are past their best.
This simple front garden design looks highly effective due to the repetition of plants, even in a small space.
Improve your kerb appeal by replacing odd pots with large, matching containers with plants that link the space together.
You can add some colour during the spring and summer if you want something a little more frothy.
Consider matching the planting to the style of your house i.e. formal clipped evergreens that are inspired by the shape of the property; flowers that complement the colour of the house; or flowing shapes that blend with the property.
Create a style that suits your home
Beware adding something too quirky where passers-by can see it! People just LOVE to criticise.
- Its always a good idea to look around you and aim to fit in with the street scene. You can add personal style without standing out in an awkward and obvious manner. Gnomes and gargoyles might be fun, but perhaps keep them in the back!
Wildflowers look great in a large space but don't generally work very well in a front garden.
- Neatness is important. The most difficult look for a front garden is a naturalistic wildflower meadow. Its likely to look unkempt for much of the year, and not in a good way.
A great garden design has a measured amount of architecturally pleasing plants.
- Make sure you have structure and definition. Evergreens and architectural plants can be highly effective in the front. They look good all year round and can be supplemented by annuals, pots and hanging baskets in the summer if you wish.
Beware of adding too many quirky features. They might not always be tasteful!
- Ensure that the route to the front door is obvious. This can be achieved with a path or big pots as a signal to mark the entrance.
- Avoid anything too quirky. One day you might want to sell your home and your taste might be off-putting. Most house-hunters cruise past the front of the house before booking a viewing.
New hard surfacing in front gardens does not need planning permission provided it is permeable (porous) so that water can drain through.
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- Bear in mind relevant planning rules. For example, you should be aware that that front garden surfacing needs to be permeable and cannot drain into the mains system unless planning permission is sought. This helps to minimise flood risk. There may be local laws regarding heights of fences, colours of paintwork etc. The planning department of your local council can help you.