Front gardens are often neglected and tend to come somewhere near the bottom on most ‘hierarchies of things to do around the home’. For most of us a front garden is little more than an entrance to our home and somewhere to store our cars, but this is a mistaken view to take when you consider that they’re also the first impression most people will get of our homes, and the only impression they’ll get if they’re just passing by.
Furthermore, front gardens are also a great space in their own right for us to use ourselves – a garden area that won’t be covered in grass and that will be easily accessible from the front of the house all year round. If you want to improve your home in a way that will make it better to look at then and more practical to spend time in, consider using one of the following tips to get more out of your front drive.
If you have concrete drive then this will provide you with a great surface to stand furniture on that won’t rock around or sink into the mud. This is a great opportunity then to give yourself somewhere you can sit outside with a cup of tea in the morning while the washing machine goes, or where you can enjoy the morning paper before work.
And of course your seating can be more interesting than just a bench too, why not look into getting a swing bench or a few chairs around a decorative table? This way it will be more decorative and stand out somewhat from all the other drives on your road.
There is a misconception that concrete is necessarily grey and boring and must look like a public car park. On the contrary, concrete is actually highly versatile and should you want it you could get your concrete stamped and stained to look like luxurious marble. While you might not want to go this far, using stamped concrete or staining to a degree can still be a great way to make your driveway look more impressive and colorful.
As a rule, using concrete is always advisable over asphalt. Not only is concrete more versatile, but asphalt can leak oils onto your shoes which can get walked into your home, while driveway sealer can cause similar problems.
The back garden is a great space to grow plants and flowers and in its prime should look beautiful. Of course your front garden needs to provide space for your cars, so there’s less space for growing things but that doesn’t mean you can’t add a dash of colour. Using hanging baskets is a great way to bring some life into your front garden while still being relatively easy to look forward to. Furthermore, because you’ll add the soil in yourself and you can bunch together only the plants that work well with each other, this means you can grow many things that you wouldn’t be able to in the back.
One of the common problems we contend with in the front garden is potholes. These form when water gets caught inside tiny cracks in the concrete and then freezes – breaking the surrounding concrete around it apart and leaving an ugly hole behind.
The solution is to use underfloor heating. Here you get several pipes to run through the floor underneath your concrete which you can then pump warm water through when you want it. This will not only feel great under your feet all-year-round but it will also melt any ice and snow thereby avoiding injury and keeping your concrete in the best possible condition.
Lighting and Features
Another way to make your front garden more pleasant to spend time in is to create more of an atmosphere with a few lights and some features. Using garden lights you can give the area a nice glow that’s welcoming when you get home from work, while a burglar light can help to keep your home safe while also making it easier to find your keys in the dark.
My personal favorite addition to a driveway though is a water feature. This adds not only a pleasant ambient sound, but also a nice ethereal glow and movement that will really bring your front garden to life.
This post was written by Neil McGuire from Parker Concrete, a Perth based decorative concreting company.