A beautiful front garden speaks volumes about your style, and can even foreshadow what’s on the other side of the front door. “A great garden is one that stops you in your tracks, coercing you in to admire it,” says Peta Donaldson of BLAC Design + Construction. “Good design is often about getting the proportions right, creating interest with texture and contrast, and using plants to complement the architecture and natural surrounds.”
Elouise Van Riet-Gray
The beauty of boundaries
With a myriad of border styles to choose from, Grant Boyle of Fig Landscapes suggests taking design cues from your home’s architecture and location. “If you live in an inner-city terrace you can’t go past the heritage charm of wrought-iron, while a white picket fence may be more in keeping with a coastal weatherboard,” says Grant. For privacy, a masonry wall is the best defence. “To soften the look, climbers like Boston ivy and creeping fig will add a lovely layer of foliage,” he adds. In lieu of a standard fence, plants can create a lush, property-defining boundary. “Fast growing slender weaver bamboo provides great height and privacy, while a leafy hedge of lilly pillies is timeless,” he say
Clever plant picking
The first rule of plant choice is finding something that suits your area. Luke Brizga of Red Leaf Landscapes recommends taking a peek at your neighbours’ front yard and the surrounding landscape. “An effective scheme can be as simple as having the right plants in the right place,” says Luke. “I love using Australian natives, such as fine leaf lomandra, with succulents like blue chalk sticks and jade. Not only are they drought tolerant and low-maintenance, the combination of textures and tones add interest.” A striking feature tree will also add curb appeal. “A deciduous Japanese maple is a great focal point within a formal garden, while a dragon tree makes for a perfect feature in a coastal scheme,” suggests Grant.
Whether your front door is architectural or cute and cottagey, some strategically placed items will up the style stakes. “Think wall pots with draping succulents, a quirky light, a generous welcome mat, a striking house number or simply a gorgeous textured pot with a great plant like a ficus lyrata,” says Adam Robinson of Adam Robinson Design. “With numbers, keep it simple and contrast texture, colour and materials. Metal numbers add sheen to brick walls, while coloured terracotta signage, like the range from Robert Plumb, will offset wood panelling.”
Come on in
Adding furniture will also create a spot from which to admire your front yard. “Pick durable, comfortable pieces which suit the scale of the space, and for extra usability, add a side or coffee table where you can read the morning paper,” recommends Adam.
A minimalist garden with a restrained palette pairs perfectly with bold architecture, says Peta Donaldson of BLAC Design + Construction. “The aim is to create balance in terms of scale, texture and layering so the architecture and landscape sit in harmony,” Peta explains. “For front paths I like to incorporate a blend of concrete and natural stone for a subtle contrast, and cantilevered landings for a minimalistic, yet dramatic impact.”