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  • Writer's pictureSarah Kay

How to create a practical front garden that still looks like a garden?

I've just completed my design for an E5 Family Front Garden. My clients are a young family with a East London Victorian terraced house, which has been recently renovated. They have all the practical storage needs that comes with a busy young family but would like a front garden that still looks like a garden with planting visible both from the street and the house.

3D Visualisation - E5 Family Front Garden

Currently the front garden is mainly hidden from view behind an ugly rendered brick wall and is dominated by a beautiful but ultimately too large Betula utilis (Silver Birch). As space is at a premium in this garden, and the ground level and root systems around the Birch make using that space challenging, I recommended that the Birch is replaced with a more appropriately scaled Amelanchier lamarkii which will provide height and three seasons of interest but will not dominate the garden.

The front boundary will be replaced with low London stock brick wall to match the house with 1920's style wrought iron railings and gate painted to match the front door. This will provide an appropriate boundary which allows planting to be viewed both from the street and the front room window. A matching London stock brick wall will replace the existing rendered wall between the neighbours.

The terracotta tiled path is slippery when wet so I've recommend a Raj Green riven sandstone path edging with sandstone setts and a reformed entrance step and front step in matching sandstone. This material will also be used for coping, pier caps and flower bed edging for a consistent look and feel.

Room has been made for bespoke bike storage which will fit around the bay window and have a green roof and an easily accessible bin store is sited next to the path by the front gate.

Gravel provides a permable SUDS compliant surface and an additional flower bed next to the front door allows for a Wisteria to be trained to the front of the house.

The next stage is the collating the tender packs and detailed design to allow landscapers to quote and work on the detailed planting plans. I look forward to seeing this built in 2022.


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