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The FRONT GARDEN – The KEY TO CREATING a GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION

The front of your property is, in some respects, the most important area of your garden. It’s the first thing visitors see, and no matter how well presented the rest of the house and garden is, a drab or untidy garden entrance is not going to make a good first impression.

An appealing and functional entrance area is also important for your own sense of satisfaction; after all, it’s something that you look at and use every day. Not only does it make you feel better about your house and garden, it provides valuable security and privacy.

Is your Front Garden up to Scratch?

Look at the following features in your front garden. These are the things that make a public statement about you and your lifestyle. How well do they shape up?

Front gate

Front fence

Paths

Driveway

Letterbox

Front door

Garage door/carport

Porch or front verandah

Lawns, garden beds and pot plants

Ornaments

What makes a Functional Garden Entrance?

As with any other part of the garden, the success of the garden entrance depends on good planning.

Consider the following:

*Do you want the front garden to be seen fully from the street, house or surrounding area, or do

you want it hidden? How much privacy do you want?

*Do you want to encourage or discourage visitors into the property? This will affect the height and position of fences and the accessibility of the paths.

*How many cars do you need to park inside the property? This affects the length and design of the driveway, an often neglected entry point.

*How important is security? Do you need to lock animals in or out?

*What areas of the garden do you want to be seen; what do you want kept out of sight?

(such as compost area, storage and clothesline)

What makes an Appealing Front Garden?

Neatness and tidiness are the two most important elements of a good front garden. No matter how much effort and money is spent on the house and garden design, the effect is immediately destroyed by

overgrown lawns, messy edges, weedy garden beds, and tools and toys scattered around the drive and front lawn. If lawn mowing and garden maintenance aren’t your thing, maybe you should think about paving all or part of the front area.

Don’t overlook details such as peeling or faded paintwork, rusting metal (on letterboxes and fences) or rotting timber. They detract from the overall presentation but can be easily fixed.

Always use landscape materials that are in keeping with the overall house and garden style, and don’t use too many different types of materials.

One or two focal points such as an arch, birdbath or pots placed near the front entrance will create interest in your front garden, but don’t overdo it. Think about whether you want these on public display, to be viewed from the street (and whether this will be a security problem), or whether they are for your own private enjoyment.

TIP

If the area is dark or shaded, use light colours in paving, and variegated foliage to make it seem more open and inviting.

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