Garden design hotline #3:

Front garden driveway in Leytonstone

garden design

I was called by a client in Leytonstone that wanted some advice for a front garden design. She wanted a space that could accommodate a car and bin store while retaining the appearance of a garden. My brief was to create a low maintenance space that offered year-round interest with ample room for vehicle parking.

What’s the angle?

A simple way to make any garden design more dynamic is to orient the lines of the hard landscaping on a 45 degree angle to the house. The longer lines appear stretch the space and create a sense of depth. In this garden the angle would also make it easier to park the car.

Defining the outline

I suggested using box hedge to help define the space. Evergreen box will provide year-round interest and gives a traditional, neat and structured appearance.

Mix it up

A mixture of materials in this front garden adds extra interest. Using two contrasting coloured surface sandstone paving creates an attractive design and defines the boundaries of the parking space and pedestrian path.

Up the garden path

Instinctively we want to try to get from A to B by the shortest route. This is particularly true in a front garden, where the intention is rarely to you explore or relax, but simply to get to and from the house as quickly as possible. The pathway here follows the fence line directly from the street to the front door. The fence itself was planted with scented climbers to make the passage to the door as attractive as possible.

Suitable for vehicles

Front garden driveways need to be practical as well as attractive. You must make sure that whatever paving you use is thick enough to take vehicular traffic. It is recommended that the minimum thickness of most natural stone slabs or concrete block pavers is 50mm. Do be aware that these days there is fairly strict legislation regarding new driveway installations which requires hard surfaces in front gardens to be permeable to reduce the amount of surface run-off diverted into public watercourses. In this front garden design the drainage fall was predominantly directed towards the planting beds.