How to achieve kerb appeal in a front garden and lighten your mood

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 it’s 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. front garden, planting, driveway, garden, design, garden design, front, greenery, tidy, neighbourhood, impression. Formal, clipped forms of box (Buxus) soften the angular shape of this property rather beautifully.

First impressions

People tend to form judgements about other people during the first minute of meeting them, based on clothes, manner and appearance. It’s 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. untidy house, unkempt, disorganised, dilapidated, property, image, first impression, unloved, 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 iIt’s 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 happy, smiling, happy, happy people, image, improving, clearing clutter, gardening, front garden, 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.  Here’s our winter check-list to help improve your kerb appeal: fallen leaves, front garden, winter tidy up, gardening, image, tidying up, winter task, Sweep up all those old leaves. They present a slip hazard as well as being an eyesore.
  • Clear debris, including fallen leaves, litter and clutter.

bins, bin storage, bin store, hide your bins, front garden, gardening, design, garden design, storage, There are many different storage options for bins, they aren't the most attractive focal feature of a garden.
  • Tuck dustbins away tidily – preferably out of sight.

clean your windows, clean windows, dirty windows, first impressions, front garden, home, property, tidy, These dirty windows don't make a very good first impression!
  • Clean the windows and paintwork or cladding and you'll instantly raise your kerb appeal.

Topiary, hedge cutting, trim the hedge, gardening, front garden, tidy garden, first impressions, You don't need to make your own hedge into a giraffe, but a neat hedge always looks good!
  • If you have hedges, trim them neatly. Instant kerb appeal!

lawn mowing, trim the lawn, cut the grass, front garden, first impressions, gardening, winter tasks, A neat lawn makes the world of difference to a front garden. Don't forget to trim the edges too.
  • If there’s grass, cut it and neaten the edges.

planting, front garden, paving, RHS greening grey spaces, front gardens, biodiversity, gardening, There's not a lot of appeal for wildlife on a bare hard surface!
  • 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!

dead plants, tidy your garden, improve your image, front garden, gardening, new year, new image, tidy, garden, Dead plants in odd pots aren't the most attractive feature of a front garden!
  • Remove old flower pots containing plants that are past their best.

ornamental grass, stylish pots, containers, front garden, garden design, tidy, first impression, gardening, Ornamental grasses in stylish, matching pots make a great statement in the front garden.
  • Improve your kerb appeal by replacing odd pots with large, matching containers with plants that link the space together.

Garden design, front garden, plants, planting, bay trees, lavender, repetition, gardening, simple design, This simple front garden design looks highly effective due to the repetition of plants, even in a small space.
  • 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.

hanging basket, flowers, colour in the garden, front garden, garden design, gardening, You can add some colour during the spring and summer if you want something a little more frothy.  

Create a style that suits your home

  • It’s 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!
garden gnome, front garden, garden design, feature, garden feature, gardening, weird and wonderful, Beware adding something too quirky where passers-by can see it! People just LOVE to criticise.
  • Neatness is important. The most difficult ‘look’ for a front garden is a naturalistic wildflower meadow. It’s likely to look unkempt for much of the year, and not in a good way.
wildflower meadow, front garden, neat and tidy, formal, garden design, gardening, garden, Wildflowers look great in a large space but don't generally work very well in a front garden.
  • 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.
garden design, architectural, plants, planting, front garden, simple design, tidy, neat and tidy, first impression, A great garden design has a measured amount of architecturally pleasing plants.
  • 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.
quirky front garden, garden design, architectural plants, topiary, gardening, design, Beware of adding too many quirky features. They might not always be tasteful!
  • 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.
planning permission, front garden, permeable paving, resin bound, surfacing, planning, New hard surfacing in front gardens does not need planning permission provided it is permeable (porous) so that water can drain through. Perfect Plants Ltd is an on-line supplier of garden plants, house plants, garden equipment, furniture and gifts for all seasons www.perfectplants.co.uk