Front Garden Plant Ideas: How to Add Privacy to the Front of Your House

It’s easy to overlook front gardens because they tend to be on the small side and that can make it tricky knowing what to do with them. But small can be beautiful 

and our no-nonsense guide to front garden plant ideas provides lots of ideas to help add privacy, fragrance, colour, wildlife and value to the front of your home.

Can a front garden increase your overall house value?

Kerb appeal — estate agents are forever banging on about it, and there’s no doubt most home hunters are looking to be seduced before they have even set foot inside the front door. 

Let’s face it, kerb appeal is one of the things that first draws us to a house. That indefinable something that makes us want to turn it from house to home and even a small, scruffy front garden can have us dreaming of how we can transform an unlikely front patch into an urban oasis.

In the aftermath of lockdown, now more than ever house buyers are looking for outdoor space no matter how modest. According to Foxtons Estate agents, 62% of buyers said a garden was important and 72% claimed they would pay a premium for a property with an outdoor space. Property website, claims an attractive, well-presented garden may boost the value of your property anywhere between 5% and 20%.

South or West-facing gardens are more desirable for most of us since they receive more hours of sunshine and daylight. However, even East and North-facing gardens still provide plenty of opportunity for desirable plants.

With the current trend of artificial grass, you’d think it would be a great asset. However, according to House Beautiful, fake lawns although they are low-maintenance can prove a big turn-off. Real lawns in small front gardens can be equally off-putting — no one wants to push a lawn mower around an area the size of a postage stamp and then you have the problem of where to store the lawn mower.

Other benefits of elevating your front garden

Let’s take a look at some inspiring ideas that can enhance your property or provide a dreamy front garden that provides you, (and your neighbours!) with pleasure all year round.

  1.  It’s beneficial for wildlife

Even if your front garden is paved, there’s always room for a few potted plants that will instantly attract wildlife. Lavender hedges are always a hot favourite bringing fragrant structure and olde-world charm by encouraging bees and butterflies to your front door. Lavender love a hot, sunny spot, (not for North or East facing gardens sadly,) and are easy to care for — just remove the faded flower stems once they’ve finished flowering.

  1.  Hedge planting can help increase privacy

For most homeowners living in typical semi-detached townhouses, the average front garden has a straight path from the street to the front door owing to space constraints. However, for most of us, privacy is a big issue, especially in urban spaces. Hedging offers an ideal solution, it’s visually attractive, relatively affordable, easy to plant and provides instant kerb appeal. 

At Hedges Direct, we’ve made life simple. Instant hedging offers immediate impact and privacy or you might like to experiment with some of our attractive pleached trees that provide taller seclusion. (‘Pleached’ refers to trees that are trained to form a screen of branches and foliage with a single straight stem.)

  1.  Reduce noise pollution

Large-leaved evergreen hedging such as vibrant green cherry laurel or the more unusual aromatic bay laurel always looks smart. Hornbeam and Beech are worthwhile contenders since they hold their foliage through the winter months and all help reduce noise and pollution so are a win-win. 

The best front garden plants to add to your space

Whether you’re planting for aesthetics or front garden privacy, try to choose shrubs best suited to your garden’s aspect and if in doubt, go for compact varieties where possible. Browse our recommended line-up for divine front garden shrubs guaranteed to give your outdoor space an instant facelift and add a warm welcome to urban front gardens. 


  1. Euonymus: neat, smart and low-maintenance, there are some gorgeous spindles to choose from. Gold, glossy green and silver-edged varieties are as happy growing as hedging or as climbers on a garden wall or fence. E. japonicus makes ideal hedges and screening for coastal gardens since it’s salt tolerant and if you’re an impatient gardener, you can always opt for our mature hedge screen to provide instant maturity and privacy.
  • Full sun or part shade, well-drained soil: North, East, South and West facing gardens
  1. Lavender: go for compact varieties that won’t outgrow their space too quickly. French lavender is always on trend and looks stylish in pots, containers and window boxes.
  • Full sun, well-drained soil: South and West facing gardens
  1. Privet: Always a popular choice since it’s relatively quick growing and can be shaped as evergreen topiary, hedging or taller screening. Half-standard plants grown in pots look stylish and are easy to care for. If you fancy something more dramatic, you might even consider our mature pleached Japanese Privet that can be imaginatively used for side or street boundaries for heightened privacy. 
  • Full sun, well-drained soil: North, East, South and West-facing gardens
  1. Jasmine: Most people think of Jasmine as a climber for warm, sunny places but did you know that at Hedges Direct we offer mature star jasmine for unusual, fragrant instant screening? With a dense habit and a profusion of perfumed white starry flowers, it’s a wildlife magnet and lends itself to screening or can be grown in floral panels as garden divisions or against walls or fences.
  • Full sun, well-drained soil: East, South and West-facing gardens
  1. Oleaster: Why not have fabulous foliage and fragrance too? Hedging plants don’t always have to be grown as a hedge. Oleaster (or what is often called Elaegnus,) is a plant beyond compare. Try growing pleached or half-standards as an elevated screen on your street or side boundary providing heightened privacy with heavenly perfume without sacrificing style.
  • Full sun, well-drained soil: East, South and West-facing gardens


  1. Beech: An eternal favourite for its fresh, apple-green foliage that turns to burnished copper in autumn and as long as you keep plants below 6f/1.8m, they reliably hold their leaves through winter so it makes great hedging. 
  • Full sun, part shade, well-drained soil: North, East, South and West-facing gardens.
  1. Box: Long-loved for its tight, dense habit, box (Buxus) is as versatile as it is elegant. There are all kinds of ways to get creative with your front garden boundaries with box. Choose from deep green or gold varieties, grow as a low or taller hedge or side boundary divisions and you can even make a mini knot garden. Or like many, grow topiary pyramids, balls or spirals in pots to add dramatic impact.
  • Full sun, part shade, well-drained soil: North, East, South and West-facing gardens.
  1. Honeysuckle: Many of us think of honeysuckle as a summer-flowering, scented climber but shrubby honeysuckle with its tight gold or green leaves lends itself to attractive evergreen hedging. Extremely easy to care for and happy in most gardens, it’s a great alternative and more affordable option than box, with the bonus of small creamy, perfumed flowers in spring. 
  • Full sun, part shade, well-drained soil: North, East, South and West-facing gardens.
  1. Hornbeam: The go-to choice for many a Chelsea Flower Show garden, not surprisingly, Hornbeam’s fresh green ribbed leaves make a dense hedge that is both pollution and noise-absorbent. Ideal for privacy divisions or front of house, and can equally be planted as mature pleached screening for added seclusion.
  • Full sun, part shade, well-drained soil: North, East, South and West- facing gardens.
  1. Photinia: It’s surprising that more of us don’t choose evergreen Photinia for hedging or privacy screening. Young, pink leaves that turn a glossy, ruby red in spring before maturing to deep green with the arrival of late summer and autumn is an unbeatable plant for adding privacy and elegance to any front garden. You’ll be thrilled to know that it’s available as topiary so if you have no inclination to plant a hedge, it looks pretty swanky in pots. 
  • Full sun, part shade, well-drained soil: North, East, South and West-facing gardens.
  1. Yew; Always regarded as the height of fashion, Yew is elegance personified. For all its aristocratic pedigree, it’s a tough, adaptable and uber-reliable evergreen that adapts well to hedging, screening or divisions. Naturally, these very features make it a great topiary plant. Pyramids, columns and globes are available so why not indulge and add a British classic to your front garden space? By the way, we offer mature hedge panels for instant impact to make life easier.
  • Full sun, part shade, well drained soil, dislike wet conditions: North, East, South and West-facing gardens. 

 Other front garden planting ideas

  1. Plant in boxes if your garden is paved

A paved front garden is undoubtedly practical but can look a little austere. Front garden plants in window boxes, hanging baskets, planting boxes and containers are an affordable and effective way to enhance your outdoor space. Pots and containers are low-maintenance too, but keep an eye on the watering and don’t let plants dry out. 

With our summers getting hotter, you might consider adding a small amount of water-swelling granules to the compost before planting. Each granule acts as a water reservoir absorbing hundreds of times its own weight in water during rainfall or watering so they keep the compost moist and allow potted plants steady access to water. Not only that, they significantly reduce your irrigation routine, but don’t be tempted to add more than you need or your compost will turn into swampy tapioca!

2. Add intrigue with climbing plants

Climbers are unrivalled for maximising vertical spaces in small, front gardens. There are clematis available in just about every colour of the rainbow, some are scented and their enticing flowers always provide a warm welcome. Don’t overlook some of the more compact climbing roses that offer gorgeous colour and fragrance.

3. Plant tall hedging in place of fences or walls

Have you thought about using taller hedges for the front of the house? Planted in front of fences or walls, they soften harsh boundaries as well as acting as barriers to prevent annoying street litter from blowing into your garden. Feeling fruity? Why not check out our pleached tree selection.

4.     Opt for topiary!

Nothing adds alluring elegance than topiary and even the smallest front spaces can benefit from twinned box balls, pyramids or spirals placed either side of the front door. Yew always adds a classy touch and even Photinia, rosemary and lavender can be shaped to provide attractive focal points.

5. Intruder proof hedging

If you’re plagued by intruding neighbours’ pets, why not consider intruder-proof hedging?  Dazzling berried barberries with enticing multi-hued foliage, good old elegant English holly or for problem spots including cold or coastal areas, plump for  tough, prickly Sea buckthorn with its attractive, narrow deep green foliage.

6. Get comfy

Outdated or shabby garden furniture can be off-putting so why not invest in a stylish outdoor bench that provides a focal point as well as somewhere to sit on a summer’s day and enjoy a refreshing cup of tea? 

There are some great designs out there to suit all budgets. Uber-modern timber and metal benches or for those romantics amongst you, shabby chic or cottage-style seating where you can while away the hours reading, writing or simply watching the world go by while sipping a chilled sundowner.

Discover how you can achieve different garden design styles here.

6. Revamp tired fencing

Scruffy and broken fencing can be off-putting so it’s worth keeping front garden fences in good repair. Get creative by giving them a lick of timber paint in enticing pastel shades from French grey or subtle heather rather than dull brown.

7. Keep things tidy

A small, gloomy corner can house added outdoor storage. It might sound obvious but even a small storage container or shed is cited to be one of the more desirable aspects house-buyers are looking for and gives you somewhere to hide away garden tools, kids’ outdoor toys or unsightly bags of compost. 

Front gardens can be every bit as inviting as back gardens and with a bit of imagination and creative planting, even if you’re on a tight budget, small front spaces can be elevated from the ordinary to the sublime.

We hope you’re found lots of front garden planting ideas to help you elevate your outdoor space. Shop our full range of hedging and garden plants to brighten up your garden today.