Design Tips

Front garden design tips: Considering security

0 Written by Lisa on 31st Jan 2014 in Design Tips

Normally front gardens are easily accessible to others so there are a few considerations you should take into account when you’re planning your front garden.

Privacy vs security can be tricky to get right as you don’t really want people looking through the window when they walk past, but large shrubs can not only block out the light, but also provide dark corners.

If you live on a road with good street lighting then this may be enough to light the front of your house after dark, but you may wish to consider some functional lighting on the front of the house that gives you peace of mind when you come home.

Front garden Wandsworth by Lisa Cox Designs

Movement sensor lights can be useful but they need to be positioned correctly otherwise they’ll drive your neighbours nuts.  One of the houses at the end of our garden has a sensor light in the back garden.  It comes on during the night sometimes and lights up our whole bedroom!

If you’re prepared to pay for something a bit more sophisticated then you could have a timer which is set to turn the outside lights on when it gets dark. Something to consider if you feel at all vulnerable.

If you have side access to the back of the house then think about securing the gate.  A simple bolt may not be enough to deter unwanted visitors as often these can be reached by leaning over the top of the gate.

The other consideration is garden furniture and by this I mean anything that is placed in the garden that can easily be removed.  An urn or piece of sculpture could be what’s needed to lift the design so the last thing you want to be worrying about is it disappearing in the night.

Antique cretan urns at pots & pithoi

As I mentioned in an earlier blog post we have a bench in the front garden which, because it’s stone, weighs an absolute tonne.  You need at least two people to lift the top and even then it’s a struggle so I don’t think anyone would be able to run off with it very quickly.  We also live in a quiet cul-de-sac so the only passers-by are our neighbours and any visitors.

I guess what I’m saying is think about how something might be secured if you’re worried it may get stolen.  A terracotta urn, for example, could be fixed through the base into the ground.

I hope I haven’t made you worry too much!?  It certainly wasn’t my intention to do that, but I think security is important and it’s also vital that you feel safe when you arrive home.


(Images: Lisa Cox)

Front garden design tips: What surface is best?

0 Written by Lisa on 28th Jan 2014 in Design Tips

Front garden Wandsworth Lisa Cox Garden Designs

Last week I talked you through the layout of your front garden so now it’s time to start thinking about the hard landscaping materials.  The surface you choose will probably end up boiling down to cost but, whatever you decide upon, it must feel right with the look and style of your house as well as it’s setting. Read more

Front garden design tips: 5 ways to keep it simple

0 Written by Lisa on 24th Jan 2014 in Design Tips

Concept sketch sutton front garden Lisa Cox Designs

Welcome to the first edition of my blog series about front gardens.  I’ve written about them before but I hope that I’ll be able to give you some tips to help you to improve what you have.  Whether you’re ready to start again from scratch or just make a few changes I hope I’ll give you some inspiration to have a go. Read more

Giving your home some kerb appeal

0 Written by Lisa on 21st Jan 2014 in Design Tips

Front garden in Wandsworth by Lisa Cox Designs

There was an interesting article in The Sunday Times’ home supplement on Sunday about revitalising your home. It offered lots of advice and ideas about ways you can improve your home. These ranged from inexpensive decluttering to full-scale structural changes. Read more

Why not phase the installation of your garden lighting?

0 Written by Lisa on 13th Jan 2014 in Design Tips

Walled garden in Berkshire - Lighting by Ornamental Garden Lighting

Lighting in the garden takes on various functions including lighting a pathway, improving security and creating a mood or aesthetic that enhances your garden at night. Read more

A visit to Horsham Stone in West Sussex

1 Written by Lisa on 7th Nov 2013 in Design Tips

Horsham Stone Quarry Lisa Cox Garden Designs

On Monday I visited the Horsham Stone quarry in West Sussex with my local Society of Garden Designer’s cluster group. Read more

Dealing with sloped gardens

2 Written by Lisa on 29th Oct 2013 in Design Tips

View of deck from under willow tree Lisa Cox Garden Designs Surrey

Sloped gardens can be a bit daunting to deal with, but they provide an easy way to make a garden more interesting because you can use what’s already there to your advantage.  Of course flat gardens can be interesting too, but a naturally sloped space will present different opportunities that you might not otherwise have. Read more

A great front garden will make you love your home more

0 Written by Lisa on 22nd Oct 2013 in Design Tips, Inspiration

Concept sketch for front garden in Wandsworth

I went to see a potential client in Clapham on Saturday. They live in a beautiful Victorian town house and are slowly restoring its original features. They’re very keen to improve the look and feel of the front garden first, the back garden will come later. Read more

Sometimes a parasol just doesn’t really cut it!

2 Written by Lisa on 24th Jul 2013 in Design Tips

Umbria Parasol by Garpa

It’s been really hot in the UK now for almost three weeks and we’ve all been very glad to be in shorts and sitting out in the garden at every given opportunity.  I haven’t much envied the commuters to London – I know what it’s like to travel home in a train without air conditioning! Read more

What’s involved in the preparation of a landscaper’s quote

4 Written by Lisa on 24th Apr 2013 in Design Tips

Box topiary and stone bench in Box, Wiltshire

I spoke with one of my landscapers this afternoon because I’ve just sent over the drawings for my project near Muswell Hill.  He can’t get started on his quote until next week because he’s working on a tender for a large job in London and this will take him the majority of the week to pull together. Read more

Lisa Cox Welcome

I specialise in helping families to turn their gardens into an extension of their home and into a space that can be used and enjoyed all year round.

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