Redesigning Ideas For Gravel & Parking Gardens
Most online guides for garden design focus primarily on the back garden, leaving the front garden as an afterthought.
While few people use their front garden to relax in after a hard day at work, this does not mean it should be overlooked.
Your front garden is the first thing people notice about your house and it often serves a multipurpose area too; especially if you are fortunate enough to have off-street parking.
Functionality or Beauty?
While it may be easier to keep your front garden solely for functional purposes, such as parking your car, there are many easy and cheap ways you can spruce it up with minimal effort.
Remember, your front garden is part of your community and is visible to everyone, so why not give people something they really want to look at?
Throughout this guide, we will be mentioning the use of gravel in your front gardens restyling.
If you already have gravel in your front garden as a security measure for parking cars, don’t get rid of it; work with it to maximise the spaces potential and overall look.
Even if you want to make your front garden striking but are short on time to maintain an entirely new set of plants, you can easily obtain this with some clever edging ideas.
Take into account the overall colour of the gravel in the parking space; aim to get a colour that compliments it without appearing too bold (unless that is what you are going for).
*DESIGNER TIP* If your gravel has a sandy colour to it, why not use black edging? Simple, classy and very eye-catching.
Plants Between Paving Stones
If you are pressed for space in your front garden but want to add some new plants, why not plant some grasses or hardy plants between the paving stones.
If you don’t have paving stones, plant them along the gravel edge to create a softer feel. This will create a gentle border, without being too bold, while also making the most of the space.
While this idea may seem unusual, it can give a splash of greenery to your front garden and, depending on the shape of your paving stones, highlight them in a simple, cheap and obvious way.
Slightly above height plants can also help you keep your gravel in one set place, thus keeping your front garden neat and tidy.
Is your front garden a square? A rectangle? Why not break up the space by adding some curves?
While this idea for a restyle may be more time consuming, the end result can be spectacular.
Keeping space for the car, simply draw a curved shape in the chosen section of your front garden.
You can define your new curves by using either contrasting coloured paving stones to the gravel in your off road parking, or planting a lawn to fill it in; whichever you prefer. Planting a lawn has the added benefit of adding some greenery to the space and allows you to plant some small shrubs without distracting from the overall curved shape of the lawn.
*DESIGNER TIP* You could even line your curves with some minimalist grasses if you really want to boost your gardens overall appearance.
Of course, you don’t need to spend lavishly to restyle your front garden. If you want a more rustic feel, why not use recycled wood or concrete slabs?
With more emphasis today on minimising waste, you can use some disused wooden pallets or planks to give your garden a new feel.
Laying the planks flat across the gravel in a ‘zig-zag’ pattern or asymmetrical fashion will make this idea stand out more. Ensure the gravel is level with the planks to avoid injury to your ankles or your car’s suspension.
*SAFETY TIP* Ensure before laying the planks that they have been sanded thoroughly and are thick enough to support the weight of a moving car; you really don’t want them snapping or a stray splinter puncturing your tires.
Adding a touch of art deco to your front garden can really make it stand out and give it a very modern feel; all you need to do is try to create a minimalist appearance with straight lines.
As difficult as this sounds, it can be achieved quite easily with flat bricks, contrasting colours (black and white is popular) and very clear edges. But, the biggest factor on how this style will look when it is completed is your eye for precision and perfectionism.
Of course, you can do this without losing the security benefits of the gravel around your car; going with the black and white theme, you can lay black gravel and edge it with flat, white brick border.
As hard as it may seem to incorporate plants into this style, if you are handy with electric trimmers and have always wanted to grow a hedge, you could use a straight cut hedge to emphasise the overall designer look and add a splash of greenery.
*DESIGNER TIP* To really show off, you could learn how to sculpt hedge plants and create geometric shapes to really stun people as they walk up to your driveway.
Of course, these are just a few ideas to really make your front garden unique and obviously, the same constraints that apply to your back garden apply to your front one too; such as ownership of the property, space availability, free time and the available budget
Also, you will want a style which is easy for you to maintain; if you have a lot of free time, then you will find it easier to learn how to carve hedging into unusual shapes than someone who works full time.
You also don’t want to compromise the access to the parking space; there is nothing worse than trying to leave for work only to have to fiddle around with your top of the line automatic gate.