Posts Tagged ‘Garden Design Surrey’

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.

Front gardens are practical spaces, they need to accommodate one, two or more cars, the rubbish bins and possibly other types of storage such as a log store or oil tank.  But they’re also the window to your home so they need to look great and give your home some kerb appeal.

Lavender & stone bench in Leatherhead Garden Lisa Cox Garden Designs

You don’t normally want to sit out in the front garden but that doesn’t mean it can’t have some “wow” factor.  We have a bench seat in ours and although the only time I sit there is to tie my running shoes, it gives an attractive focal point both from the Lounge and when you pull up in the car and walk across the driveway.

The key to front gardens is to keep them simple.  Here are my five top tips to help you to do just that:

1. Use simple shapes when planning your layout

Front garden concept plan West Horsley Lisa Cox Designs

Straight lines often work best in smaller spaces so if you have a small garden think about the layout as a series of squares and rectangles that are slotted together.  Try to design the shape of the things you want to include i.e. the driveway & pathways and ignore the shape of the flowerbeds, when they’re full of plants you won’t really notice what shape they are.

If you have a larger garden you’ll have the space to use curves but take care to ensure that any pathways leading off the curves run into the radius point of the circle.

2. Use reference points on the house

Front garden Wandsworth Lisa Cox Garden Designs

If you have a pathway or paved area it’s always nice to line it up with a reference point on the house.  So, for example, a pathway leading to the front door should ideally be designed so that it’s the full width of the entrance.

Windows can be great reference points too so, for example, if you have an area at the front of the house that you won’t be parking on, think about lining the hard landscaping up with the edge of the window.  This will ensure that the view from inside is much more balanced too.

2. Ignore the boundaries

When there’s not much in the garden it can be tricky to ignore the boundaries, but if you can try to think of designing the garden from the middle outwards, it will always feel much more balanced.  As I said earlier, it doesn’t matter what shape the flowerbeds are as you’ll only notice the positive shapes of the designed elements.

3. Do you really need a lawn?

Concept-Sketch-2-Sunbury-Garden Lisa Cox Gardens

Lawns in front gardens only really work if you have a huge space.  Small town and suburban gardens just aren’t really big enough,  sometimes they haven’t even the space to park a car.

By the time you’re done planning in the pathways and other functional things you’re left with a lawn the size of a postage stamp which quite frankly just isn’t worth the effort of getting the lawnmower out.

4. Choose your plants carefully

Ideally front gardens need to have a high proportion of evergreen plants.  They’re the only bit of your garden you’ll walk through whatever the weather and time of day/year.  So they need to be interesting and structured every day of the year.

If you live in a cottage in the country then you might want to bring a cottage-garden feel to it, but consider carefully what it will look like in the winter – the last thing you want is bare soil for 4 months of the year.

Front garden in Leatherhead Lisa Cox Garden Designs

I hope this has given you some help to get started.  If you’re trying to improve what you’ve got already there may be some small adjustments you can make to the layout to give them a more balanced look and feel.

For example, you may be able to square off any odd angles or curves to give a cleaner finish or adjust a pathway so that it connects with the driveway in a different way.

Next week I’ll be getting into a bit more detail about materials and how you can use these to influence your subconscious mind.

In the meantime I hope you have a lovely weekend!



Where did that year go!?

0 Written by Lisa on 31st Dec 2013 in From the drawing board

Christmas tree

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to celebrating the arrival of 2014.  I can’t quite believe just how quickly 2013 flew by but now that I’ve looked back at what happened over the course of the year, it makes complete sense! Read more

From the drawing board: The finished drawings for a garden in Sutton

0 Written by Lisa on 16th Dec 2013 in From the drawing board

Presentation Plan Irmgard MacAskill

You may remember a week or so ago that I shared the concept design and sketches for a small front garden in Sutton.  We have now finalised the design and the construction phase will start in January so I thought I’d share the finished design with you. Read more

From the drawing board – Concept design & sketches for client in Sutton

0 Written by Lisa on 4th Dec 2013 in From the drawing board

Sutton front garden before redesign Lisa Cox copy

I have recently been working with a new client in Sutton.  She’s a neighbour of a previous client and, following the conversion of her garage into a new living room, she’s keen to transform the front of the house. Read more

Thrilled to be the winner of the Loseley Park & Surrey Life photography competition

0 Written by Lisa on 22nd Nov 2013 in From the drawing board, Inspiration

Miscanthus zebrinus in Flower Garden at Loseley Lisa Cox Designs

You may remember that I spent a wonderful morning at Loseley Park back in the summer with Rona Wheeldon of Flowerona taking photographs before the garden opened.  It was following this visit that we both decided to enter the photography competition that Loseley were running in conjunction with Surrey Life magazine. Read more

From the drawing board: Concept design & sketches for a client in West Horsley

0 Written by Lisa on 20th Nov 2013 in From the drawing board

West Horsley Concept Plan Lisa Cox Garden Designs

I have recently been working with a family in West Horsley to help them create a design for their garden that they’ll be able to implement themselves. Read more

Some more images from Loseley Park Garden

0 Written by Lisa on 4th Nov 2013 in Inspiration, Plants

Heleniums at Hampton Court Palace Lisa Cox Garden Designs

I was looking through some of my images over the weekend and thought I’d share some more from my trip to Loseley Park earlier this year. Read more

Dealing with sloped gardens

4 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

Beautiful & elegant greenhouses and conservatories by Alitex

0 Written by Lisa on 20th Sep 2013 in Garden accessories, Inspiration

Alitex greenhouses and conservatories

A couple of weeks ago I visited the Alitex factory and showroom near Petersfield in Hampshire.  I can think of worse places to work, they’re right on the edge of the South Downs so the surrounding countryside is gorgeous. 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.

read more >

Sign up to the Newsletter
Thank you for signing up.
Let me create the Right Garden For you click here >
Find me elsewhere

Websites by Flourish, Guildford, Surrey