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How to get Front Garden Kerb Appeal

Achieving front garden kerb appeal can be as easy or as difficult as you make it.

True, it depends somewhat on the current state of your front garden. You know, the difference between tired and messy as compared to the neighbourhood disgrace! But let’s think positive…

A front garden may compliment the style of the house. For example, a traditional cottage could have a front garden in the cottage garden style. Or the one could contrast with the other. Architectural and spiky modernistic planting ‘zinging it up’ to make a real show stopper.

If you need a total re-think of the space, calling in a garden designer for their expert advice and doing the work yourself makes the best use of a small budget. The garden designer will also be able to advise you on which elements of your front garden project might be done better and quicker by experts such as a tree surgeon or landscaper.


Front Garden Kerb Appeal – Selling Your House

Did you know it takes potential buyers no more than eight seconds to decide whether or not they like a property?

You are of course selling your house, but you’re also selling your garden – back and front. So it’s often the look of the front garden which is the deal maker (or breaker!) in the sale of any property.

damaged trees, bromley front garden

If you’re trying to sell your house, a thorough clear out of cupboards and a lick of paint look good once people are inside. But will the prospects run away because there’s a weed ridden, sadly neglected wilderness between them and the gleaming front door? An attractive front garden makes you feel better and improves the value of your property.

When Plews is approached by vendors to spruce up their front garden specifically for sale, we approach the design and project in a particular way. Budget is often an overriding element for the owners. But this needs to be balanced against losing the house they want to buy as they’re not getting the potential purchasers coming to view.

As the designer, we have to encourage a balance between permanent and temporary elements. Front garden kerb appeal is not just about topiary pom-poms in pots by the front door!

cornus 'elegantissima', Heuchera 'obsidian', penisetum 'fireworks', hexagonal oak sleeper raised beds, front garden design, plews

To give a front garden some kerb appeal that will add value to the selling price and to those who purchase the property is important. It shows a care for the place that was a home to those who are leaving. This general feeling of goodwill is not just ‘airy fairy’ it does seem to help make the whole moving process a little less stressful for all parties. Now that has to be a bonus!


Front Garden Kerb Appeal – the quick and easy option

Have a good tidy up. Yep, that simple! Take some time to look at your front garden with a stranger’s eye. Or get a friend to do the looking for you.
Take a photo of the garden before you begin and another one when you’ve finished. It can be quite an eye opener!

  • If you have a lawn, mow it, and trim the edges neatly.
  • Fork over the soil in the borders and remove the weeds.
  • Deadhead flowers unless they have attractive seed heads.
  • Prune away dead shrub branches. But please do not hack at shrubs willy-nilly, you may be removing next year’s flowers!
  • De-moss paths and driveways so they’re not slippery.
  • Sweep away leaves from lawn, borders, path and drive.
  • Give walls, fences and gate a clean – it may be all that’s needed.
  • Bins and recycle boxes – do they smell? Give these a good clean too, and stack neatly if on view.

Buxus sempervirens Gold tip, gold tipped box, evergreen shrub, variegated foliage

Front Garden Kerb Appeal – a bit more effort required

You’ve already carried out all the above tasks; or as many as are applicable for your front garden. And it’s highlighted some areas that could do with a bit more tlc but probably not a full makeover. Let’s consider a couple of items.


Bins and Recycle boxes

These have been cleaned but they are still on view. It hasn’t bothered you particularly, and you don’t fancy spending money on special containers for them just because you’re selling the house.

wooden bin store, garden sundriesSuggestions –

#1. Buy some brightly coloured bins and boxes to co-ordinate with your front door. Keep the clean recycle boxes the council provided in a corner somewhere to leave behind when you move.

#2. Line up some large troughs with ornamental grasses in front of the bins and have a brightly coloured display of plants and / or planters near the front door to take the potential buyer’s eye away from your ‘hedge’.


Walls, Fences and Gate

You’ve cleaned them, but they still look a bit grubby. They are however, structurally sound, so it would be silly to replace them.

lacecap hydrangeas, white flowered, pink flowered, deciduous shrub, garden fenceSuggestions –

#1. Paint could be your friend here; a freshly painted iron gate will look welcoming.

#2. Is the wall is already rendered? That is it’s not bare brick, but covered with plaster and painted. If so, then paint it. Pale, neutral colours are usually best, depending on the style and colour of your house. They’re also easier for the new owners to paint over if they wish. Bright red is a so-and-so to paint over!

#3. Wooden fences can be treated with wood preservative; a neutral or clear colour for preference. However, this depends on whether it has previously had coloured preservative used. In which case, rather than re-applying a bright shade, use planting to detract from the fence’s deficiencies.



If you have an ok, healthy but not show stopping array of plants, this is not the time for a major re-design.

Suggestions –

#1. Add some seasonal bedding for colour; but keep to a restricted colour scheme. For example, purple and yellow winter pansies are cheerful grouped together. Grouping is key; a single row of bedding in front of a hedge can look a bit municipal if not done carefully.

#2. If you have plants in pots rather than in borders, then give them an air of distinction: –

  • Group pots together in threes or fives;
  • Have either different plants in the same style of pot;
  • Or the same plant in different types and sizes of pot.


Viola, pansy, container planting, front garden

Front Garden Kerb Appeal – a lot of work required…

As was said earlier, bring in the expert to advise you. As both a garden designer and garden consultant, sometimes I am asked to advise rather than design. And that maybe what is needed for your front garden. Although Plews is based in South London and mainly works in Bromley, Croydon, London, Kent and Surrey; there are gardens and gardeners across the UK that we have worked with.

The important thing to remember is to look at your front garden with a stranger’s eye. In the same as you’re looking at the interior of the house for things that need tweaking. Oh yes, and before you put the property on the market, check out the rear garden too!

front garden herb fan, box topiary, lavender, rosemary, santolina, decorative gravel, slate, front garden design

Read Plews Potting Shed blogs for inspiration for both your current and new gardens. There are some suggestions below. And do get in touch if you’d like Plews to help with advice, design, planting or landscaping.

Click here for our Front Garden Design Portfolio


Related Gardening articles you may enjoy from our Award Winning Blog

5 Ideas for Stunning Front Gardens
Summer Bedding Plants – Planting ideas for your flower borders and patio containers
5 Miniature Daffodils for Pots and Containers
Plants for Hanging Baskets
Is Yours a Shady or a Sunny Garden?