If you want to get to know someone, check out their front garden. Seriously! For better or worse, a front garden can say a lot about the family living in the house behind it. It’s more than just a few flowers for pedestrians to muse over on the way down the street. The front garden is even more than just the most visible feature of your home. It can tell a guest how they can expect to be treated; is it warm and welcoming, or barren and pretty much munted?
A front garden can also be an amazing canvas for self expression. It can be colourful and eccentric, or reserved and elegant. In short, a good front garden can be the defining feature of a home. With the stakes this high, let’s look at a few simple ideas for how to make your garden turn heads. All of these ideas are aimed at Perth home-owners, and should hold their own even in the worst of our summers.
Make paths rock
The secret to a welcoming front garden is a well defined, beautiful path. Generally speaking, the wider the path is, the more open and welcoming your front door will look. Having said that, there’s much to be said for a smaller, winding path, depending on your taste. Whichever route you go, the trick is to keep things well defined.
The easiest way to do this is with a touch of creative edging between the pavers. This is a point where you can go as crazy as you like. If you live near the beach, why not use something fun like shells or driftwood? Alternatively, a cactus garden can look great with some volcanic rock. The sky is pretty much the limit here.
Create a continuous flow from street to door
Another crucial design aspect of any good front garden is a feeling of continuity between the street, garden and front door. The idea here is to make your home feel less like an isolated, walled off cage, and more like a natural extension of the community itself. This can be achieved without sacrificing privacy though.
A great way to strike a good balance is through the use of slatted timber on gates or fences. This allows passers-by fleeting, inciting glimpses of the garden beyond, while still giving you enough privacy to have a front yard barbie without the whole street looking on. This approach is also good for security. After all, it’s not easy to case out a home through the slim slits of slatted timber. However, any potential intruders will still feel exposed by what is basically an extremely porous wall.
Make visitors savour the garden
Remember how we mentioned that not all paths have to be wide and direct? As gardener Robert Dash once put it, “All good garden paths should lead to loitering with fine intent, and if they don’t, then something is wrong indeed.” Dash was a big fan of winding, indirect paths that encouraged us to savour the garden.
Another good way to achieve the same result, without a crazy path, is through the use of rest spaces. This could be anything from a small bench to a full size rotunda. Even the smallest housing estate garden has space for somewhere to take a seat, and enjoy a glass of red in the evening. Anything can do the trick, so long as it’s inviting, comfortable, and most importantly, makes a visitor genuinely content to just sit back and soak up their surroundings.
Make gates and fences features
Many home-owners view their fences as cumbersome, necessary evils. This doesn’t have to be the case. Perth has some extremely talented metal workers, and an avante garde, twisted metal fence can turn your garden into a wonderland. If you’re down near the beach, why not make a fence out of weather-worn hardwood sleepers?
On the other hand, if you’re already stuck with a miserable looking wall or fence, then don’t despair. As prominent Australian gardener Janna Schreier argues over at her blog, contrast can make all the difference. A glorious row of Pride of Madeira can turn a boring concrete slab into a work of art. Best of all, this stunning plant has no problem handling dry, hot climates. For a native alternative, try russets or kangaroo paws.
If you need outdoor equipment to help keep your front garden in check, make sure to pop by your nearest Beacon Equipment store today.