What’s a garden for?
I think it’s for sharing. Would you like other people to enjoy your front garden as much as you do? Would you consider planting things for passers-by as well as for yourself? If so, read on.
Here is our long front garden.
And here it is last weekend when we briefly had snow.
Such a long garden is quite unusual in London. Hardly anyone has seen our back garden in 2020 and the front has become all the more important for a place to stand and chat.
It’s 15 metres from the pavement to the front door, down a straight paved path. Although we paved the front bit so we could park off the road, there is still a lot of garden for passers-by to see. I plan a lot for colour, scent and interest to be seen from the street.
I plant a lot of early daffodils to bloom in February and March.I buy them from Walkers Bulbs here. That means that as you pass the house you see a splash of yellow. Not only can everyone enjoy these from the street but of course I also walk up the path several times a day so we all benefit. My attempts at a drift of snowdrops have failed miserably. I have planted hundreds in the green but only a handful ever come up.
Shrubs for winter scent
I’ve put scented shrubs as near to the street as I can and written about the best ones here
This tiny winter honeysuckle flower will fill the air with its scent and people stand at my front door wondering where the perfume is coming from.
Winter flowering shrubs can be big ungainly things but I don’t mind that. It’s the effect they have that matters for me. A beautiful scent of honeysuckle or mahonia wafting around the pavement for passers by is a gift to other people – and so easy to do. Just one of those shrubs I mention will fill a space in winter with a strong sweet scent. Here is a local front garden with a sarcococca so near the pavement you can smell it as you walk past.
Tulips for a burst of colour
I also like to plant tulips all down the front path on one side so that you can see the colourful strip from the street. Everyone who comes to the front door gets the pleasure of walking past a few hundred cheap cheerful tulips. Some do better than others but overall more people can enjoy them than those in the back garden.
So you could stand on the pavement and look back at your front patch. Is it inviting? Is it interesting? Does it change with the seasons? Does it tell you that who lives there wants to share their pot of daffodils or pansies? Does it make your postman smile?
It really is worth it. The Middle Sized Garden blog has also written about beautifying your front garden and you can read about that here