Improve the appeal of your small front space with our curated small front garden ideas. These garden and front yard ideas are gorgeous.

Whilst a back garden tends to be all about creating an oasis of floral calm in which to retreat from the world, a front garden is all about kerb appeal and establishing tone. Do you crave order and symmetry? Or do you lean towards a looser, English country cottage aesthetic, with rambling roses scaling the walls? Do you want to entice wildlife into your space? Does a lush green colour palette foster a sense of calm in you or, at the opposite end of the spectrum, would a riot of colour make you feel joyful every time you come home? For some larger front gardens, box hedges can give shape, while structural additions in the form of arches can add height.

Those are all things to consider before you get started on work to improve your front garden. To get the inspiration flowing, we present eleven front garden ideas that could transform your space – no matter how small, with a bit of planning, you can make it both useful and beautiful.

Mix Up A Few Plants And Colours

When considering giving a makeover to a small garden with no grass, it is advisable to choose a colour palette and stick with it. With larger spaces, a medley of colour can be charming, since there is enough breathing space for each jewel-like flower to shine. But when square footage is limited, a profusion of hues risks jostling for attention and diminishing the desired impact. This pretty example demonstrates how restricting colour need not be lifeless nor, indeed, too blandly tasteful. As they say, ‘Here, drifts of pink flowers such as yarrow, rose, fuchsia, cosmos, and astilbe, complement the home’s blue door and shutters.’ A pretty and calming use of the space. Click here for more inspiration.

Add A Chair Or Bench To Make It Cosy

When considering very small front garden ideas, it is easy to dismiss anything that might be deemed ‘clutter’. And yet, before you completely write off the idea of adding a bench into your space, it is worth considering how you wish to use your front garden. For those without back yards in addition to the front space, a bench can provide a much-needed place to sit outside and contemplate with a coffee and the papers on clement days. It also adds a focal point, which can lend a feeling of cottage-style homeliness, not simply to your garden but to the whole look of your house. And finally, as argued here by RHS Garden for Friendship designer Jo Thompson, a bench at the front of your house can even help to alleviate loneliness, forge new friendships and foster a sense of community.

Use Paving Slabs, Stones, and Flowers for a Welcoming Entrance

If you have more than a postage-stamp-sized front garden, it is worth considering adding texture to your space by using paving stones, slabs and potted flowers. Why not create focal points with generous potted floral arrangements alongside planting in your borders, texturally counterpoised with the crunch of gravel or a sweet, enticing pathway of stepping-stones? This grand entrance demonstrates how to balance formality with a looser aesthetic in an urban setting. Click here for inspiration.

Spruce Up Your Yard With Small Shrubs

The prospect of a stunning front garden with regularly refreshed annual plants providing unending interest is, of course, appealing but, for many of us, it is also pretty impractical. For those who wish to install low maintenance plants, shrubs are a great choice. Deciduous or evergreen, they often blossom to provide sweet-smelling flowers in the summer, while also providing pretty shows of autumnal colour and, sometimes, even berries. They are also useful for imposing a structural framework on a garden. Practical yet satisfying, we like how designer Bria Hammel has deployed the humble shrub at this beach hut (albeit one with a rather larger plot than most of us looking for front garden ideas here in the UK). Click here for inspiration.

Line The Pathway To Front Door With Greenery

There are many ways to demarcate the path to your front door. Perhaps the most calming of them all is to line it with greenery, whether in the form of a smart and classic box hedge or lush green urban jungle style planting (for which choose plants such as tree ferns, yucca and hostas). Not only is it cool and fresh, but it is also low maintenance and looks verdant whether in rain or shine. To add to the abundant leafy look, train a green climber over the doorway too. Click here for inspiration.

Plant Climbing Roses For A Feeling of A Country Cottage

Whether you live in a picture-postcard cottage in a bucolic idyll or in an urban terrace, a rambling rose will always reliably prettify and deliver a good dose of country vibes. The good news is that it doesn’t matter how tiny your front garden may be; all you need is enough earth to plant your bare root plant and then watch it grow. And the pleasure is two-fold: it not only looks glorious when it blooms, it also smells divine too. Click here for inspiration.

Layer Plants And Flowers To Create An Impression Of A Full Garden

When you have a small space to play with, it is important to get creative and judicious with your planting. Every inch counts, after all. Layering up your planting can help to create an impression of a full garden, giving it both depth and height. This example was created by landscape designer, Julia Levitt, her aim to plant a ‘soft and gentle’ space with mixed foliage textures for her clients, whose Sydney home called for ‘a semi-formal front garden to complement the home's pretty heritage façade.’ Click here for inspiration.

Ivy On The Walls And Hydrangeas For The Ground

When it comes to considering the kerb appeal of your home, greenery goes a long way – and that isn’t confined to the space on the ground. The façade of the house too can be softened with a good creeper. One of the best and easiest to grow is ivy which, generally speaking, even the non-green-fingered can manage to keep alive. Once it is established, which takes a year or two, all you need do is prune it to stop it getting too wild. Meanwhile, on the ground, why not break up the solid greenery by planting hydrangea in the colour of your choice? The pompom-like blooms are soft and cheering, and easy to manage. Get inspiration and advice on ivy growing here.

Keep It Simple

Sometimes – usually, in fact – it pays to keep things simple. Whether you live in a gorgeously rustic stone house (insert wistful sigh here) or in a smart town property with just a few feet of space out in the front, why not use box hedge to create a classic hedge border, within which to grow a changing display of seasonal blooms? We love a profusion of tulips in a restrained palette, as shown here. Click here for inspiration.

Use Potted Plants To Add Detail

Regardless of whether you already have borders or raised beds, potted plants will reliably add interest to a garden. And if you have no in-built space for planting, then they are not simply a nice addition, but a vital one if you are to create a small front garden that brings delight to its owners. Opt for terracotta pots in a variety of shapes and sizes (we love the really huge ones) to create a Mediterranean look; or, for a more sleek, contemporary approach, go for galvanised steel examples. Even without much space, you can have an ever-changing display of plants and flowers. Click here for inspiration.

Create A Vertical Garden In Little Space

If you have a very small space, or you are looking for small front garden ideas with parking, growing vertically could be just the solution. Happily, there are many ways to create a vertical oasis and many of them are gratifyingly home-spun and thus don’t cost the earth. For example, you could upcycle a coat rack to make your very own hanging garden, or even repurpose old paint cans to stuff with herbs and suspend from your wall. We like this classic example of a DIY hanging wooden shelf, which was created by Ben Uyeda for Better Homes and Gardens. To explore more of his vertical garden ideas, click here.


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Nancy Alsop


Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.