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Front Gardens and Driveways

For many reasons, the construction of a new front garden might be a challenge. To list a few, very often a house owner needs to consider regulations of the local council, which might significantly limit design choices. If a boundary treatment such as new hedging or fencing is part of a plan, it is the client’s responsibility to consult with their neighbours prior to the start of work. A landscaping scheme designed for the new build/newly renovated house might need an approval that it complies with building regulations. The construction of a front garden might require a change of levels, creation of walls, installation of a new drainage system, or detailed construction and material specifications to ensure its surface water run-off will not be a problem after heavy rain.

Hedging along the boundary should not be higher than 2m. Depending on light conditions and soil characteristics, there are numerous plant varieties to choose from, many of which come in attractive variegated leaf form. The plants should not be invasive or poisonous to other plants to ensure the neighbour’s garden doesn’t suffer. Species of laurel Prunus sp. as an example is great for the hedging of front gardens. The maintenance during the year is minimal. This shrub grows in variable conditions, including shade, and has flowers with a lovely scent.

The choice of paving for driveways is not only about the colour even though the colour and laying composition creates the final impact. A porous type of paving might be required to satisfy local regulations and SUDS. To alter the kerb height, it is often mandatory to receive an approval from the local authority. To avoid delays in construction, the client might want to review the conditions before approaching the landscaping firm. Only a few types of laying methods can ensure that there is no horizontal movement of paving from the weight of vehicles. This might create a limitation in choice of paving. For the best results, it might be essential to speak to a landscaping professional.

On the bright side, front gardens tell a story about their owners and they are the first impression to our homes. Most of us can perhaps visualise a picture of a lovely red brick house with a little front space, enclosed by a wall, not too high, not too low. The wall is just the right size to see a flowering cherry tree planted in the centre, underplanted with bulbs and ground cover. The umbrella shape of the tree and the fact that it is only a dwarf type means that there is nothing obscuring the view from the window. The paving is neat and the size of slabs was chosen to suit the proportion of the space. The black metal side gate is in the same style as the wall railings. Chelsea planters with summer planting decorate the entrance to the garden and simple lighting ensures visibility and safety at night.

Are you planning a renovation of your front garden? Call us. We provide design and build services and can advise on planning.

Written by Marketa Hermova

January 2021

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