Creating spectacular landscapes in small spaces

Create A Modern And Low Maintenance Front garden In Five Simple Steps

by Janet Banks

If your front garden is looking worse for wear, then you may be thinking about hiring a contractor to give it a makeover. However, this can be costly, and a much cheaper option is to do it yourself. If you're not an avid gardener, then this may seem like a daunting task. Yet, even the least green-fingered gardener can create a simple yet modern and beautiful front garden in a single weekend.

Step 1. Remove the existing lawn and garden beds

You'll need to create a blank canvas for your new garden, so that involves removing the grass and garden beds. Firstly, remove any trees or plants that you don't plan to keep and then either relocate them to your back garden or dispose of them. Also, remove any garden edges or pavers.

Next, you'll need to pull up the lawn. If it's only a small area, then it's okay to dig it up with a spade. For a larger area, this could be back breaking work, so you can hire a small electric tiller from a landscape supply company which will get the job done quickly and easily. Water the lawn thoroughly the night before you intend to remove it. This will make the soil softer and easier to work with.

Step 2. Create an even surface

Once you've cleared the space, then you'll need to create an even surface to work with. This may involve moving and redistributing some of the dirt from the built up garden beds to the area where the lawn was removed to level things out.

Once the whole area is roughly even, then you can use a rake to smooth over the surface and fill in any dips or hollows. If possible, it's a good idea to compact the surface as well. This means that you'll have a more solid base to work on. You can hire small compactors from your landscape supply company, or you can simply use wooden planks which you lay down on the dirt and then walk over.

Step 3. Lay down your weed matting

Weed matting is an excellent way of keeping your garden weed free for longer and avoiding the use of toxic weed killer. It blocks the sunlight the weeds need to grow and physically prevents weeds from growing through the tight mesh. Weed matting is also available from landscape suppliers.

When you lay the weed matting, make sure that you overlap the matting where the joins are to prevent weeds from growing through the cracks. You can cut small holes in the matting where you plan to put your plants.

Step 4. Do your planting

A beautiful garden doesn't need to be too complicated. Choose simple but striking architectural plants to create a modern look. Plants such as yukkas, cacti, succulents, and ornamental grasses are perfect. They not only look amazing, but they're also low maintenance. They require very little watering and don't shed leaves and sticks that will need to be removed.

Step 5. Add decorative pebbles or stones

The final step is to add the top coat to your new garden. Choose pebbles or stones over mulch or bark, both of which will break down over time and require replacing. Rocks and pebbles will last for decades and don't require any work except for the occasional rake over to even out the surface. There is a huge variety of sizes and colours available from landscape suppliers.

Five simple steps is all it takes to create a modern and minimalist front garden that is virtually maintenance free. Better yet, you can do it quickly and easily with only the most basic of gardening tools and landscape supplies.