A small front garden
Sadly front gardens tend to get over looked, or just seen as a way to the front door or a car park. But a well designed and planted front garden can give both you and your neighbours joy as well as passers- by. It can also be a rich habitat for wildlife.
Most front gardens need privacy, either from neighbours or the road, so boundaries are all important. Move beyond the obvious fencing and add hedging as a living boundary which will change through the seasons and be a home to birds and help to reduce, noise, car lights and pollution. Here are a couple of suggestions.
Hebe ‘Mrs Winder’: This is a lovely hebe with a good compost habit up to 1/1.3m in height, with dense evergreen foliage of mid green, which has winter tints of purple and red in the older weather. It has purple flower spikes produced in late summer July-August. Most soils, with good drainage. Quit hardy for a Hebe. Full sun.
Berberis: x frikartii ‘Amstelveen’: This Berber’s makes a compact dense prickly hedge ideal of a street boundary. Growing up to 1.5m or more it has small glossy green leaves with a glaucous underside. A mass of small bright yellow flowers in spring followed by blue-purple berries. Soil with good drainage, sun to part-shade.
A tree is a must in a front garden, even if a small space, it gives height and scale to the garden particularly to balance a high house facade.
Malus Everest: This is a wonderful tree for a small garden reaching 3/4m in time and with a compact habit of acceding branches, giving it a champagne flue like shape. With blush pink clusters of flowers in the spring, giving way to mid-green foliage on the light crown. Followed by rusty autumn leaf tints to its, crowning glory clusters of small red crab-apples which hang on the bare branches through all of winter into early spring. All good soils, not water logged, full sun, will cope with a bit of shade.
In a small garden boundaries are very dominant but they also have the advantage of being another planting space. Scent in a small space, particularly near the front door where you can enjoy it can really lift the sprit.
Rosa ‘Buff Beauty’
Rosa ‘Buff Beauty’: This is a wonderful ‘David Austin’ Rose all the beauty and scent of old fashioned roses but repeat flowering. Roses are wonderful, as they will start flowering in May and will go on even to Christmas depending on the frosts. This is a small climber with healthy dark green growth. With clusters of old gold /Apricot flowers highly scented which fade to a creamy yellow. Followed by deep orange hips. Good fertile soil which holds moister, not water logged. Full Sun.
Pyracatha ‘Golden Charmer’
Pyrcantha ‘Golden Charmer’: This wonderful wall shrub can be clipped into a dense shrub to clothe a side wall or fence or cut to shape round house windows. A great nesting spot for birds. Also growing climbers on house walls has been shown to keep your home at a more balanced temperature throughout the year, reducing heat in Summer and heating bills in winter. A spiny evergreen shrub with glossy dark green leaves. Clusters of slightly scented white flowers in spring. In the late summer and autumn great bunches of golden yellow berries. Good fertile soil to poorer soils. Sun to part-shade.
In a small space every plant has to work hard, with long flowering seasons and or evergreen foliage so there are no blank and dead spaces in the winter months.
Daphne x altantica ‘Eternal Fragrance’
Daphne x alantica’Eternal Fragrance: This is a wonderful small compact evergreen shrub with dark green leaves and a neat habit. Its main flowering season in June, but it will flower on and off throughout the growing season. Small clusters of waxy blush flowers are produced which are highly scented. Humus rich soils with good water retention. Full sun.
Lavendula x intermedia ‘Grosso’
Lavendula x intermedia ‘Grosso’: This is a lovely Dutch Lavender with large sliver grey foliage on a mounding shrub. The attractive aromatic foliage is evergreen, making it perfect for edging the front path or drive. Long stems hold the large elongated light mauve flowers well above the foliage. Flowering in July and into August. The scented flowers are a magnet for a great variety of insects. Poorer soils in full sun.
Hellaborus orientallis: This is a wonderful long flowering plant. Mounds of large evergreen palmate dark green leaves make a compact herbaceous perennial The flower stems rise from the base in late December to flower, December to the middle of March or latter. The colours vary from, clear white, cream with purple spots, dusky pink, dark purple and to light green. The Flowers are followed by very attractive seed pods which last till May. Good humus rich soils sun to deep shade.
Geranium ‘rozanne’: One of the best and free flowering of the hardy perennial geraniums a clump of mid green leaves are produce in early spring. A mass of clear blue/purple flowers with a white centre are produced from mid spring right through the summer up to the autumn. After each flowering shear of the dead flowers, to encourage latter flowering. Sunny spot on most soils.
Small front garden
I hope I have inspired you to look again at your front garden and to make the very most of it.