Front Garden Design

About This Project

The Brief

The client required a front garden design to complement their house and provide ample off-street parking but to also be aesthetically pleasing. Gravel was to be used as the main surface to maximise the amount of rainwater that could pass through back into the ground. The existing front hedge and large trees were to remain, and new planting incorporated in borders on the boundaries and against the house. Provision for a bike shed was also to be included.

Type of property

A large detached house in an exclusive area of Colchester.


The front garden is very wide but quite shallow. There are large existing trees along the front boundary.

Problem areas

The existing garden would often flood during heavy rain. The majority of rainwater would flood in from the road. Exiting trees limited scope for design. Step to front door is too small and unsafe.


The existing trees and hedge provided an instant screen for the house. The wide nature of the front garden would allow for ample parking.

Designed layout

New sleeper retaining walls surround the new planting beds on the boundaries. This brings the proposed planting level up slightly to help soften the hard lines of the sleepers, while forming a boundary between the planting beds and driveway. A double row of buff coloured square block paving surrounds the gravel drive area and block paved paths flow from the entrance to the bike shed. The main driveway is gravel laid in gravel stabilisation matting, which keeps the gravel from migrating. New steps have been designed to be wider than the existing steps ensuring a safer transition in and out of the front door.

Favourite feature

The client really likes the way the block paved areas compliment the main gravel area, but they particularly enjoy the garden lighting.


Due to the shady nature of this garden the plant schedule includes a lot of woodland plants which will provide colour in the spring and summer. Some existing trees were retained and reshaped. The existing hedge was extended to the left hand boundary.


We specified softwood timber sleepers for the low retaining walls, buff concrete square block pavers for the boundary lines and pathways, 10mm gravel mulched the gravel stabilisation matting, limestone paving makes up the step treads and steppingstones and lighting from Hunza.

Who built the garden

This garden build was carried out by Holland Landscapes

Contact us to discuss your garden design requirements

Garden Design
driveway design, front garden design, planting