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  3. 15 Plants for Front Gardens in 2024

15 Plants for Front Gardens in 2024

Have you read our 11 Tips for a Beautiful Front Garden Design article? This article follows on with our top 15 plants for front gardens, which tend to be smaller spaces but possess enormous potential.

1. Wisteria Amethyst Falls

  • Best for: Cottage Garden Design
  • Ultimate Height: 4 – 8 meters
  • Ultimate Spread: 2.5 – 4 meters
  • Flowering: Flowers in summer, foliage spring to autumn
  • Growing Conditions: Grow in well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. Ideal for south-facing or west-facing front gardens. Preferably positioned in a sheltered area.
  • Hardiness: H5

Wisterias can be grown in front gardens as well as in large pot to create a charming feature that complements the cottage garden look. For a stunning display in the late spring and summer, make sure to plant it close to a seating area or entrance to enjoy the fragrant, dense clusters of lilac-blue flowers that appear to drip from its twining stems.

One of the most beloved climbing plants is wisteria. It is extremely adaptable and produces stunning flower blooms. Ideal for covering only a portion of a wall or fence. Simple to keep – plant in full sun or partial shade in well drained fertile soil.

2. Ivy

  • Best for: Climbing fences or walls
  • Ultimate Height: 12 meters
  • Ultimate Spread: 8 meters
  • Flowering: Foliage spring to autumn with some varieties flowering in summer
  • Growing Conditions: Moist but well-drained soil (chalk, clay, loam and sand) in full shade, partial shade or full sun. Ivy can be grown in any garden aspect (south-facing, east-facing, north-facing or west-facing) in an exposed or sheltered area.
  • Hardiness: H5

Durable, simple to grow, tolerant of shade, and evergreen, it’s easy to understand why the humble ivy is so popular. They usually grows quickly, supporting itself as it scrambles up and over fences, plants, and other structures. They also work well as trailing plants in winter plant displays and hanging baskets.

Ivy provides wildlife and insects with invaluable year-round protection due to its evergreen nature. Buy an ivy plant right away if you have a troublesome dry area in your front garden, poor soil, or an unsightly object to hide.

3. Star Jasmin – Trachelospermum Climber

  • Best for: Climbers in full sun areas
  • Ultimate Height: 8 – 12 meters
  • Ultimate Spread: 4 – 8 meters
  • Flowering: Foliage year-round, flowering in summer
  • Growing Conditions: Grows best in well-drained soil (chalk, loam or sand) with full sun to partial shade. Perfect for west-facing, south-facing or east-facing front gardens in a sheltered area.
  • Hardiness: H4

Masses of creamy-white flowers with strong aromas and glossy, evergreen foliage throughout the year. Ideal for concealing unsightly locations. Climbers of Star Jasmin and Trachelospermum will leap fences, trellises, walls, arches, and more. Climber with attractive woody, dark green leaves that turn bronze in the winter. In the mid to late summer, pure white flowers with a strong aroma are produced. It is a great plant for climbing over garden structures in a sunny spot and adding scent and high-rise glamour to courtyards. It grows best against a warm, sunny wall.

This plant thrives in well-drained soils and is particularly tolerant of hot summer weather, where other climbers may falter, making it particularly lovely in warm, sunny borders at the foot of a sheltered south-facing wall.

4. Pampas Grass – Cortaderia Selloana Pumila

  • Best for: Added to borders to add height
  • Ultimate Height: 1 – 1.5 meters
  • Ultimate Spread: 0.5 – 1 meters
  • Flowering: Foliage year round with flowering in summer
  • Growing Conditions: Grow in well-drained soils (chalk, clay, loam and sand) in a south-facing or east-facing front garden with full sun.
  • Hardiness: H6

“Pumila” is a dwarf pampas grass better suited to smaller front gardens because it produces beautiful, soft, white plumes on a plant. This lovely grass with its lovely, fluffy plumes can look great by itself or mixed in with other grasses and shrubs. Learn how to care for ornamental grasses here.

5. Cortaderia Selloana Rosea (Pink Pampas Grass)

  • Best for: Planting in groups or potted interest
  • Ultimate Height: 1.5 – 2.5 meters
  • Ultimate Spread: 1 – 1.5 meters
  • Flowering: Foliage year-round with flowering in summer
  • Growing Conditions: This drought resistant ornamental grass is best grown in moist but well-drained soil (chalk, clay, loam and sand). Ideal for full sun in exposed or sheltered areas.
  • Hardiness: H6

In the UK, Cortaderia Selloana Rosea, also known as Pink Pampas Grass, is completely resistant to drought and freezing temperatures. Ideal for use as a specimen on its own or as a focal point. Also looks great with grasses, shrubs, and perennials. Excellent ornamental grass for autumn and late summer effects. Frost-covered plums retain their attractive appearance throughout the winter. In late summer and autumn, the strong, erect stems of pampas grass hold the dense plumes of grass high above clumps of mid-green leaves that arch.

Planting this unusual pink pampas grass near water or in the middle of a sunny, well-drained lawn makes it look great, find out more about ornamental grasses care here. It is ideal for a medium- to large-sized garden and is one of the largest varieties currently available.

6. Ceanothus Victoria – Evergreen Californian Lilac

  • Best for: Growing as an individual feature or in a mixed shrub border
  • Ultimate Height: 1.5 – 2.5 meters
  • Ultimate Spread: 1 – 1.5 meters
  • Flowering: Foliage year-round, flowering in spring
  • Growing Conditions: Ideal for a sheltered full sun south or west-facing front garden with moist but well-drained soil (clay, loam or sand).
  • Hardiness: H4

Ceanothus Victoria – Evergreen Californian Lilac is an evergreen shrub with bright, glossy leaves throughout the year. A sight to behold from late spring to summer. Indigo blue flowers emerge from cobalt blue flower buds. Ideal as an individual feature or in combination with other shrubs. One of the best Californian lilacs is Ceanothus Victoria, which is easy to grow and can handle drought. It grows quickly and fills any need you may have. Ideal for growing against a fence or wall, as a feature on its own, or in a mixed shrub border.

7. Camellias

  • Best for: Adding colour to mixed borders
  • Ultimate Height: 1.5 – 2.5 meters
  • Ultimate Spread: 1.5 – 2.5 meters
  • Flowering: Flowers in spring with year-round foliage
  • Growing Conditions: Grow in moist, well-drained soil (clay, loam or sand) in full or partial shade. Ideal for sheltered north, east or west-facing front gardens.
  • Hardiness: H5

An upright, vigorous evergreen shrub, camellias provide foliage all year round, adding colour to your garden and serving as a backdrop for seasonal flowers. The foliage is an excellent foil for spring bulbs, making it ideal for a mixed or spring border. A plant that looks great in any front garden, whether it’s in a woodland, cottage, or formal setting.

8. Climbing Roses

  • Best for: Growing up a trellis or along a picket fence
  • Flowering: Late spring into summer
  • Growing Conditions: Moist but well-drained, fertile soil, in full sun to partial shade facing southeast or west

In an informal English garden setting, these enchanting rambling roses look so natural. In summer they consume the space with a dazzling fruity fragrance, the blossoms likewise contrast the dim green leaves.

Climbing roses look great on a wall or in front of a house because of their incredible scent. Add a lot of well-rotted manure to the soil at the time of planting and again in early spring each year, ensuring that it is planted in a sunny, protected location facing southeast or west. To keep this stunning rose’s vitality, remove old, dying stems toward the end of the winter.

Perfect for a cottage-style garden that grows on a wall or arbour. Flowers can be up to ten centimetres in diameter, grow in clusters, and have a mild, subtle scent on strong stems that can reach up to six meters. The plant’s dark green pinnate leaves beautifully set off these flowers, which will appear late in the spring and into the summer.

9. Buxus

  • Best for: Evergreen feature in front garden
  • Ultimate Height: 4 – 8 meters
  • Ultimate Spread: 4 – 8 meters
  • Flowering: foliage year-round with some varieties flowering in spring and summer
  • Growing Conditions: Grow in moist but well drained soil (clay, chalk, loam or sand) in an exposed or sheltered area.
  • Hardiness: H6

Perfect for front gardens, buxus can be cut into different shapes depending on how you wish to use them. You could shape them into pyramids to be placed either side of your door, shaped into balls lining a path to the door or as a low sitting hedge border. The only downside is that you must keep on top of the maintenance to ensure they do not become overgrown and lose their shape. They also works in many popular garden styles including modern, formal, shady and small gardens.

10. Hydrangeas

  • Best for: Colourful interest in small front gardens
  • Ultimate Height: Varies dependent on type chosen
  • Ultimate Spread: Varies dependent on type chosen
  • Flowering: Varies dependent on type chosen
  • Growing Conditions: Varies dependent on type chosen
  • Hardiness: Varies dependent on type chosen

One of the most adaptable plants that a gardener can plant in their front garden is hydrangeas, without a doubt. Despite the fact that there are numerous alternatives, many people are only familiar with the large mophead hydrangea. Hydrangeas thrive in a sunny location, although they can tolerate shade. We have an article on Hydrangea care here.

11. Trees for containers

  • Best for: Planting as a focal interest on its own or a pair either side of the front door
  • Ultimate Height: This will depend on variety and pot size
  • Ultimate Spread: This will depend on variety and pot size
  • Flowering: Varies depending on tree
  • Growing Conditions: Sheltered position, moist but well-drained soil in partial shade
  • Hardiness: Varies on tree type

Container trees can be used in many different ways for front gardens; placing one on either side of the door, adding to a border or filling the pot with other flowers. This is a great way to create seasonal interest by swapping the trees around in different seasons, for example: tricolour hibiscus tree in spring and summer then swapping for a holly tree in autumn and winter. You could simply move the unused plant to the garden and keep rotating as and when you wish.

12. Lavender

  • Best for: Potted beside entrances or used to create borders
  • Ultimate Height: 0.5 – 1 meter
  • Ultimate Spread: 1 – 1.5 meters
  • Flowering: Foliage year round with flowering in summer
  • Growing Conditions: Well-drained soil (chalk, loam or sand) in full sun in a sheltered south, east or west-facing front garden
  • Hardiness: H5

The plant’s adaptability ensures its ongoing popularity, which is valued for its fragrant flowers and subtle foliage colour. You can grow lavender in a container or in the ground as long as there is enough sun. The fragrant foliage will pay for itself many times over. We have the lavender you need for any garden style you want to create. Lavender is prized by nature, so expect a steady flow of bees and butterflies to visit your garden and lavender.

13. Laurel Hedging

  • Best for: Perfect for hedging or low-sitting borders
  • Ultimate Height: 2.5 – 4 meters
  • Ultimate Spread: 2.5 – 4 meters
  • Flowering: foliage year-round with flowers in spring and berries in autumn to winter
  • Growing Conditions: Perfect for all gardens and positions, laurels can grow well in all soil types (chalk, clay, loam and sand) with any pH levels (acid, alkaline, neutral) so long as the soil is kept moist but well-drained.
  • Hardiness: H5

A lovely, large, evergreen shrub with red stalks and dark green leaves. At the beginning of summer, long racemes of small white flowers with a slight fragrance are produced. These flowers are frequently followed by small red fruits that eventually turn dark purple. Laurel shrubs are an incredible supporting plant and they could in fact endure most soils. Japanese laurels are ideal for a small, shaded location. Tolerant of urban pollution and dry shade.

14. Taxus Baccata

  • Best for: Creating hedging
  • Ultimate Height: Varies on type
  • Ultimate Spread: Varies on type
  • Flowering: Foliage year-round
  • Growing Conditions: Moist but well-drained soil (chalk, clay, loam, sand) with full sun to partial shade in a north, south or west-facing front garden
  • Hardiness: H7

For topiary, English yew is an excellent option. It has needle-like foliage that is dark green and easy to shape. Yew is an excellent option if you’re looking for alternatives to traditional topiary plant options like Buxus. Easy to grow, they will undoubtedly survive for many, many years if planted correctly. A slow-growing, evergreen conifer whose foliage makes a great backdrop for things like grasses and herbaceous perennials.

It is easy to grow and maintain, and it does well in full sun or shade and in a variety of soils and conditions. Just make sure to keep it moist and not let it get too wet while it grows. Trim frequently to keep this in the desired shape.

15. Acers – Japanese Maples

  • Best for: Container or ground grown small tree
  • Ultimate Height: 1.5 – 2.5 meters
  • Ultimate Spread: 1.5 – 2.5 meters
  • Flowering: Foliage from spring to autumn
  • Growing Conditions: Moist but well-drained soils (chalk, clay, loam and sand) in a sheltered east, south or west facing front garden with full sun or partial shade
  • Hardiness: H6

Japanese maples are a symbol of elegance and grace, bringing sophistication to any garden. There is an Acer (or Maple, as they are more commonly known) for every garden; they thrive in containers or the ground, and space shouldn’t prevent anyone from owning one. The vibrant autumn colours of Japanese maples will make you long for cooler weather and make your friends’ gardens jealous. Acers like to be in a protected, shaded area that can be hard to fill, but they don’t need much upkeep. One of our maples will take your garden to the next level, whether you want to make a tranquil Japanese garden or your own private haven. Whether you have a small garden or a large open space, these transformative plants will look great.


Plants can make a massive difference to the front of your house. Being greeted by stunning Hibiscus plants or containerised Photinias can make guests feel more welcome and soften the hard landscaping of your home. With the right plant selection garden maintenance can be kept to a minimum whilst the impact is huge.

Updated on December 14, 2023

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