How to Design a Small Front Garden
Hi, I'm Marci Degman, The Aspiring Gardener, and today we're going to talk about how to plan a small front garden. Now, the thing to remember with a garden in the front, which is generally going to be where you drive up, where you walk up or where you walk out the front door, whatever you're going to see as soon as you come up to your house is your front garden. A lot of those areas are very small, but very visible. So, what you want to do is you want to plan for things that are nice-looking year round. This is a strawberry tree which I, this is the first plant that you probably are going to see when you come into my front walk, and the reason I love this plant is because it's an evergreen for one thing, so all year long you've got these leaves. The other thing that's really extra special about it is that this time of year, which is October, it's in full bloom where everything else is kind of stopping, and then it gets these gorgeous red strawberry-like fruit right close to Christmas. So, in the middle of Winter, when everything is just kind of dreary, here this front plant is just in full glory. So, you want to pick at least one specimen plant that's going to be nice all the time. It also has really nice bark. So, pick your focal plant in your front garden as a year round plant. Now, this is a full sun plant as well, so I had to think a little bit about what my conditions were up here. So, I picked a plant that hardly needs any care, any water, anything, and because it's a tree, it allows you to do shady things underneath. Now this plant, Fatshedera Lizei, is a cross between a Fatsia, which is a much larger plant, and Hedera Helix, which is ivy, but it's not invasive at all, like English Ivy. In fact, it's slow-growing, and it doesn't connect to anything. It just kind of sprawls along the ground, and you can just move it around and kind of pin it wherever you want it to go. It's a very, very nice plant. It has variegation at different times of the year too. This one, right now, is all new growth, so it's very green. So at times, I have that white variegation, which also stands out in a shade area. Other plants I have here, I have some Autumn Sage, which in my part of the country doesn't always come back, but it blooms all Summer, and you can see there's a little bit left here still. So, I try to put things that have bloom all the time. Over here, it's going out as you can see, but here i have a Hearty Fuschia which blooms all Summer. So, what I try to do is have some perennials or smaller shrubs in this type of a garden that are blooming all the time, but as you can see, even though the bloom is going away, we still have interesting things going on. So, what you want is, this is almost evergreen, but it will die out in the middle of Winter. This is evergreen, and then we've got our perennials that give us our flower color. Over here, I have a Rose, which has vivid red blooms all Summer long. So, that gives me color as well, so I've kind of stayed with a really small color scale instead of having a riot of color like you might in a large garden. I've kind of stuck with whites, salmons, reds, and things that are kind of going to be a little more formal looking. So, that's one thing you want to do with a front garden as well, and the smaller it is, the less you want to have variety going on. You want to have kind of a formal planting. The other thing I do is I have a container here that's done for now, but what I can do, I can put annuals in the Spring, I can put red Geraniums, I can seed it, I can put another shrub in there or whatever I feel like doing each year, whenever I feel like there is a season that it's lacking, I can fill that time spot with something in a container. So, here you have trees, shrubs, rose bushes, vines, perennials, a little bit of rock for interest, and it's all in a small front garden.