GardeningTips AU

40+ Fabulous front garden ideas – low maintenance, small garden and budget design

By Elise Hodge

Updated: January 5th, 2024

First impressions count right? So let's knock people's socks off with these front garden ideas

Your front yard is one of the first things visitors see when they arrive at your house – so you want to make it stand out. Should you dress it up with colourful flowers, or keep it stripped back and simple? Should you add fancy garden edging, or create a pretty stone path? There are so many options and that’s why I’ve put all of these wonderful front garden ideas in the one spot for you.

Doing up your front garden doesn’t have to cost a lot or take a lot of time and effort to plan. You could set aside a couple of weekends or perhaps a long weekend to make it a fun and quick project, which you can reap the rewards of almost straight away.

So whether you have a large or tiny space, a big budget or hardly a cent at all, there are tons of ways to make the most of your front yard. With careful planning, you can create a beautiful and usable space that will seriously increase your curb appeal.

1. Artificial grass

It used to be only for professional sports fields, but now artificial grass is a viable option for homeowners who want a lush, green lawn without the headache of heavy maintenance.  Artificial grass doesn’t require any water or fertiliser, which makes it eco-friendly, and you don’t have to worry about mowing. And do you know that artificial grass can last for up to 15 years?

The only maintenance required is the occasional hosing it down to keep it clean (especially if you have pets). It’s also a very budget-friendly option – hooray!

Source: Photo by Justin Veenema on Unsplash

2. Swinging chairs

Swing chairs are a fun way to make your front yard a welcoming place. Add cushions to your swinging chairs to make them comfy and colourful. Think afternoons with a cup of tea in hand, or picnics on the grass with your family and friends, as the kids play in the yard.

3. Outdoor table set

Add a simple outdoor table and chair set to your front yard and transform it into a lovely oasis to relax, eat and enjoy the sunshine. Add a throw rug, some outdoor cushions and flowers on top of the table to make it cosy.

4. Green landscaping

Sustainable or eco-landscaping is a method to design, create, and maintain your yard to save time, money, and effort. Green landscapes are great for wildlife, and they reduce air, soil, and water pollution. They also make lovely relaxation spaces. Who knew your yard could make such a difference!

5. Pretty garden edging

Simple garden edging can make all the difference to your front yard. Plus, if you source the items from around your home (think terracotta pots, glass bottles or timber), it won’t cost you a penny. But if you’re wanting something a little more stylish, why not take a look at these gorgeous garden edging ideas for some more inspiration.

6. Small shrubs

A simple way to spruce up your yard is to add small shrubs in front of your entrance. The best low maintenance small shrubs include dwarf alberta spruce, heather, skyrocket juniper, forsythia, and blue star juniper – to name a few.

Source: Photo by Phoebe T on Unsplash

7. Plant more trees

Fill out your front yard with trees upon trees! They not only look beautiful but they provide oxygen, improve air quality, conserve water, preserve soil and support wildlife. Trees really are the unsung hero of any property!

8. Layer plants

Create a layered garden of gentle plants, like flowers, with mixed foliage. This is a great option for making a small space look more full. Layering plants of different heights and leaf sizes creates the illusion that there’s more space than there really is.

9. Maximise natural light

When you’re designing a small compact front yard or garden, it’s important to understand how the light works in the space. Before selecting plants, consider the light at different times of the year and day. Once you have this knowledge, you can make the best decisions about the plants that will thrive in those conditions.

It’s also important to take into consideration how the plant will grow. Think about how big the plant will get and what its water requirements are. This will help you choose the right plants for your yard.

10. Gorgeous fence

Nothing beats a white picket fence. It looks great and separates your house from the outside world. Why not add a climbing vine over the fence and colourful flowers in the yard for some extra flair? This will be sure to up your curb appeal! Want to add a higher fence but not sure what type of material will suit your garden? Take a look at these privacy fence ideas.
front garden white picket fence
Source: Aubrey Odom via Unsplash

11. Stepping stones

This is a great way to add detail to your front yard. Choose a single line or go for two parallel lines of square stones to create interest. And frame the path with trees on either side. Just make sure you mow the lawn regularly to keep it looking good all year round.

Source: Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

12. Path

Speaking of stepping stones, why not make a path around your garden that leads to your front door? This is one way to make sure your visitors get to take in all that your garden has to offer.

13. Pretty pots

I can’t get enough of outdoor plants. One really simple way to add them to your home is with pots. The more, the better – so add pots of all shapes, sizes, textures and colours. If you’re wanting to keep costs down, you can find second-hand pots on Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace. Add herbs, flowers or any of your favourite outdoor plants for colour and greenery.

14. Fairy lights

Add an instant touch of magic with fairy lights. This is an easy way to spruce up your front yard and entrance, and it doesn’t have to cost you a lot either. You can find fairy lights for great prices from a hardware shop, dollar stores, and on eBay. String them around a tree, or hang them from your awning to a tree or post in the yard, and you’ve got a beautiful, warm canopy of twinkling lights.

Source: Photo by Kevin Fitzgerald on Unsplash

15. Baby plants

Purchasing new, baby plants is so much cheaper than buying fully-grown plants right off the bat. While it may take time for them to grow (you’ll need a lot of patience), you’ll get to see the entire process. This is a great way to learn to look after your plants so you can have a thriving garden for a long time in the future.

16. Overflowing lavender

Bring a touch of countryside France to your garden with gorgeous lavender. It not only smells amazing but it also has relaxing properties. While the benefits of lavender may start in the garden, you can enjoy them indoors too. You can use the plant as a decoration in a vase, to scent linen, to keep fleas away, and to season food.

In the garden, make the most of the benefits of lavender flowers in beckoning pollinators. Strategically position the bushes near a vegetable garden to lure bees, or tuck lavender into a wildlife or butterfly garden, where its flowers will be filled with activity.

Source: Photo by Porapak Apichodilok from Pexels

17. Water feature

A fountain or pond will not only serve as a beautiful addition to your front yard, but it will also add peace and tranquillity to your space. There’s nothing like the soothing sounds of water to bring clarity to the mind. If you have a pond, why not add goldfish to add colour and life.

Source: Photo by Jay Castor on Unsplash

18. Succulents and cacti

If you haven’t got a green thumb, don’t worry – there are plants for you too! Succulents and cacti are some of the hardiest plants. They’ll survive through the hottest days and the harshest of sun. But be mindful – planting them will require a bit of planning.

Succulents and cacti are best planted in sloping or raised garden beds where there is no clay. These kinds of plants require good drainage, so use cacti and succulent mix or washed river sand. Place them in full sun or half sun and watch as they grow.

19. Vegetable garden

Make the most of your front yard by turning it into a vegetable garden. This is a really practical use of space that will serve you for a long time. Can you imagine how handy it will be to walk out your front door and grab some herbs and greens for dinner?

Source: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

20. Potted plants

Sprinkle pots around your front yard to add detail. Fill them with plants that grow over the sides, as if they spill over.  You could use annuals or perennials, herbs or vegetables.

If you get different colours and textures, it provides a lovely textured effect.

21. Hanging plants

You can’t go wrong with hanging plants. This is a great option for small front yards. Hanging plants work well attached to vertical planter walls, and they also look great framing the front entrance.

Source: Photo by gryffyn m on Unsplash

22. Raised planter boxes

These kinds of garden beds offer many benefits. The elevation separates the fertile soil from what’s growing natively in the ground, giving you more control over the nutrients your plants receive. If you set the boxes up to drain on the rocks, it will prevent your roots from drowning, which is one of the main reasons plants rot and die.

23. Vertical garden

This is a great way to decorate a blank wall at the front of your property. A vertical garden in your front yard will be sure to give your home extra curb appeal. If you want to keep it simple, choose hardy greenery instead of flowers, and opt for vines instead of planter boxes. But if you’re feeling creative, you could turn your vertical garden into a herb haven, with rosemary, basil, oregano, coriander and more!

24. Year-round plants

As a homeowner, you want your front yard looking great all year round, so why not choose plants that are suited to all climates? Before you purchase your plants, think about your specific garden – will the plants be in full shade or full sun?  In many cases, the sun will be in different positions at different times of the day. Also, take into consideration which plants will look good all year round with little or no downtime. For example, the hibiscus is known for being strong enough to handle both cold and warm climates! And remember to spend time on soil improvement and maintenance so your plants will thrive.

25. Unstructured florals

Allow your front yard to grow wild and free with unstructured florals. Stick to one colour to keep it uniform or choose an array of shades to make it really pop! I love the mix of red and purple flowers in this garden.

Source: Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

26. Spray your bricks

Remember that the entrance to your house is a part of your front yard, too. And if you only have a small front yard, it makes up a huge part of your home’s appeal. If you have an old brick fence, spruce it up by giving it a spray of white paint.

27. Lanterns

Little details can make a huge difference to your front yard without breaking the bank! Add character to your space by incorporating lanterns around your garden, along the edging, on your front steps, and near the front door.

Source: Photo by Andrew Lancaster on Unsplash

28. Decorative porch tiles

Your porch is a part of your front yard, so why not choose something that will add a little bit of interest? Patterned tiles look lovely without detracting from other areas of the home’s exterior. But if you’re wanting to make a bold statement, go with something a little more colourful and wild.

29. Bench chair

The chances are that you’ve never thought about adding somewhere to sit to your front yard. But it really is worth considering. This bench seat adds both character and practicality to the front yard, giving you a place to sit and smell the roses!

30. Timber steps

If your house slopes down from the street, add timber steps to make your front area look more complete. This also saves you from having to continually clean or mow the front path.

31. Kids’ play area

If you have enough area in your front yard, you might want to consider incorporating a dedicated kids’ play area. This works best in a little nook or under an overhanging roof where there’s shade. Create a space that suits your children’s style. This fairy-themed area includes pink decor, a velvet-style stool, wings and gorgeous flowers and greens.

32. Pebbles and a pond

Whether it’s small, tranquil and surrounded with little plantings, or large, flowing with running water and filled with colourful fish, there’s no doubt that a pond adds a sense of peace, vibrancy, and detail to your garden. Plus, it’s actually much easier than it looks to build. Obviously, the bigger the pond, the longer it will take. But if you keep your pond contained, like in this picture, you’ll be enjoying the soothing sounds of water, and the wildlife it attracts, in just a few days.

33. Ball lamps

Bring light to your front yard with decorative lamps. These gorgeous ball lamps look beautiful glowing in the night!

Arrange your lamps along your front path or next to your garden edging to create consistency and draw the eye to the important parts of your front yard. Apart from being a practical solution to guide visitors in the night, these ball lamps will look stunning from the street.

Source: Photo by Haley Truong on Unsplash

34. Ditch the flowers and keep it simple

Flowers can take a lot of maintenance, especially if you have multiple types that require watering at different times as well as different fertiliser. So, if you’re wanting to save time and effort, forget the flowers and keep your garden stripped back and simple. Keeps things uncomplicated with green manicured lawns, pots either side of the front door, and gravel in the garden beds with small plantings.

35. Make it cosy

The addition of a chair or bench seat can make a huge difference to your front garden. It doesn’t have to cost you much, either. You can find great brand new outdoor chairs at an outdoor store. If you’re wanting to go the vintage route, you can find secondhand furniture at op shops and revamp them to suit your personal style.

front garden cosy area
Source: Cameron Smith via Unsplash

36. Make the most of nooks

In a small front yard, it’s easy to ignore the areas that may not get the full street-facing view, such as corners by the house or garage. Turn those spots into areas of interest by adding a tree for a focal point, and flowers and foliage to fill out space. The trick is to choose a mix of colours to add vibrancy to this corner.

37. Stick to one colour

Reducing visual clutter is one way to create a sense of calm in your front yard. It’s also a great way to keep a small front yard looking tidy. The easiest way to do this is to maintain devotion to either just a few types of plants or one colour. I love how this design has stuck with lots of greenery with a few pale purple flowers – it looks very sophisticated!

Source: Photo by Valentina Locatelli on Unsplash

38. Choose native plants

If you’re looking to revamp your garden, it’s worth considering native plants. Depending on your region, there’s a great chance that natives will flourish better than other non-native options.

One plant worth considering is the kangaroo paw. It suits garden beds and pot plants, as it doesn’t grow too large. When planted in sun-drenched spots in well-drained soil, it flowers a deep red or yellow colour from late winter right through to summer and it flourishes in temperate climates.

39. Clear your front yard regularly

Don’t underestimate the power of a good tidy up. Simply removing leaves, debris and fallen branches will help to keep your front yard looking great all year round. But if setting aside your weekend to rake up the leaves is difficult to squeeze in, hiring a gardener to take care of it will free you up to spend time doing the things you love.

40. Spring-proof your yard

If you’re wanting to keep your garden easy to manage through spring and summer, you need to get on the front foot by adding mulch to your garden. Mulch helps prevent weeds by allowing water to go straight to the plants that need it rather than feeding any surrounding weeds. There’s a bit of an art when it comes to laying all the layers, so mulching is best left to the professionals. This means you can have more time to sit back, relax and enjoy your garden, rather than spending your weekends pulling out weeds.

Alright, it’s time to slip on the garden gloves and get out in the front yard. I hope you’ve been inspired by these 40 fabulous front garden ideas. Now, the question remains – which idea will you use? Are you going to incorporate native plants or choose hardy succulents and cacti? Or how about adding plenty of potted plants or leaving your garden to grow wild and unstructured? Or maybe you’d rather create a little pond or water feature, or add a bench seat next to your garden.

Whatever you choose, I’d love to hear how you’re going to make your front yard stand out. Comment and let me know which idea was your favourite, and tell me how you’re going to make it work for your space.


Elise H

I've recently moved into a new home and I've been having so much fun decorating it with pretty wall prints and Scandinavian-inspired furniture. So as well as being a freelance writer, I'm always on the lookout for new design pieces for my home!

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