Whether you live in an apartment or on acreage, create some green space with your available square footage.


Create a warm welcome to your home and neighborhood by making the most of your outside space.

Interior Design by Rob Southern. Photography by James Merrell.

Even before your house comes into view, visitors will see your front garden, and a neat exterior creates a warm welcome. But a tidy and flower-filled front space can contribute more than that, and can add to the value of your home. A front garden full of plants also means a home and food for wildlife,’ says Leigh Hunt, Horticultural Adviser at the the UK’s Royal Horticultural Society. No matter how small your front garden, with careful planning you 
can make it both beautiful and useful. Even if you choose to cover part of it for parking, you can still make it look good.



  • Choose plants that flower in every season. You’ll always have something new to welcome you home.
  • Plant tall foliage to provide colour, privacy and a great place for insects, but make sure the plants you choose won’t block the front windows.
  • Dustbins can be a real eyesore,
 so screen them with shrubs or trellising, or, as Alys Fowler from BBC’s Gardeners’ World suggests, ‘Make your garden so pretty your eye won’t be drawn to the bins at all!’
  • Use as little paving as possible. If you need to use part of your garden to park your car, you can limit paving to only two strips of bricks.
  • Don’t forget window boxes. They’re great for adding a splash 
of colour at any time of year.



  • Waist-height hedges mean you get the most light streaming through your windows.
  • Lavender smells wonderful, while bamboo adds a modern look, offers privacy and is easier to look after than most perennials.
  • Small lawns can be hard to maintain, 
so try a ground cover plant. The evergreen Campanula poscharskyana (trailing bellflower) or Fragaria moschata (musk strawberry) will cover bare earth quickly.
  • Climbers help brighten plain walls. Provide support for rambling or climbing roses, clematis and honeysuckle or choose self-clinging varieties such as a hydrangea or ivy.
  • Grouped plant pots and containers can add interest to a paved garden. If you’re worried about thieves, add broken bricks to the bases to make them too heavy to move.