If you are seeking ideas and inspiration for your own front garden, then the Ideal Young Gardeners Of The Year competition is the perfect place to find it.
Students from six of the UK’s leading horticultural colleges design and build incredible show gardens at the Ideal Home Show each year, and they are filled with fabulous ideas for you to take home and try out. This year the brief was for front gardens. What they accomplished blew the judges away, and I think it will do the same for you.
I’ve put together a few of my favourite features from each garden to inspire you on just what can be accomplished in a front garden, so have a look below to get your creative juices flowing!
Askham Bryan College
Do some creative landscaping.
This incredibly unique idea to create waves out of the ground was inspired by the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Dales, and it gave a truly showstopping finish. Although the practicalities of creating and maintaining this exact design at home may be prohibitive, it does show you the power of landscaping to give incredible character to a garden, and should open your mind to new possibilities. Think about how you can use slopes or levels to add character to your garden.
Use disguised features.
The students at Askham Bryan went a step further and completely disguised their wheelie bin storage so that you would not know it was there if you weren’t told. Are there any ugly things on your house or garden that you could disguise as something else? If so you could completely cancel out there negative impact.
Capel Manor College
Use unexpected materials.
Capel Manor used gleaming copper throughout their garden. Not only is it bold and eye-catching, it also draws light into the garden and reflects it, brightening the whole space. Copper may not be a practical choice for you own garden, but it should inspire us to think outside of the box in terms of what materials we use in our garden design.
Make an interesting porch.
The design of Capel’s porch is clever in several ways. First, setting the lines at an angle to the house makes it bold and unique feature. Second, the canopy roof is planted to add character as the plants grow above. Third, drainage is installed through the copper pipes that support the roof, and water drains down to the ground.
Use creative boundaries.
The bespoke fence is designed to be visually appealing and stylish, but it also gives a more spacious feeling with the separated slats that allow plenty of light through and into the garden. The stunning curved copper spiral wall that sweeps along the path and draws you into the garden is also fabulously dramatic.
Use raised beds.
Raised beds are easy to maintain and they can look fantastic in your garden, adding height and character. Shuttleworth built theirs with these gorgeous wooden sleepers and set them at angles to add to the illusion of space.
The bold contrast of white gravel on black paving adds incredible definition to this garden. The right use of contrast can make your garden instantly stand out from the crowd.
Less can be more.
If you enjoy the clean lines and simple elegance of Shuttleworth’s garden, then perhaps a more minimalist design is right for you. For many people this uncluttered garden is just the serenity they need as they return home from work or life in the outside world.