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Metal square arches following a grey tiled pathway with green foliage either side.
Set the tone of your home with an enchanting journey from front gate to front door.

Entry level

We all know the value of putting your best face forward, and the view of your home from the street – aka its kerb appeal – leaves an indelible first impression. Continue the warm welcome with an engaging stroll from garden path to front door that will leave your guests surprised and delighted, and make coming home a joy. These front garden ideas and D.I.Y. tips will show you how.

Start at the beginning

The first step is to clearly mark where the journey from street to home begins, says landscape architect Brayden Murrihy. “Having a clear transition from the footpath to an entry path is essential,” he says. “This is usually achieved through the transition of materials and by using structural elements, like letterboxes, gates and hedges.” There are so many design options here: a pair of pillars, a freestanding letterbox or a matching pair of shrubs. Larger front garden features, such as an archway, can look beautiful in the right setting, as long as they don’t detract from the house.

Horticulturist Tammy Huynh suggests softening the effect of an archway with a lush climber. “Look for something evergreen so the arch is always covered with some form of greenery,” she says. “Star jasmine, pandorea, Chilean bellflower, orange trumpet vine and mandevilla are ideal candidates, or passionfruit if you’d like an edible choice. If you’re willing to have bare branches over winter, then wisteria and climbing roses are well worth it.”

Red flowers climb over gateway forming an entryway over a wooden fence.

Laying a garden path

Do you want to take guests on a scenic route to the front door or a direct line from A to B? The question of straight versus curved garden paths largely comes down to the style of your home, says Brayden. “With a classic freestanding home, we would prefer a straight path that runs directly towards the front door, whereas in an asymmetrical house you may have more of a curved or staggered path that can lead differently through the front garden,” he says.

When deciding on the best garden path finishes, draw inspiration from your house – its style and era, and the colours and materials. “For example, bluestone paving traditionally pairs well with a redbrick home, whereas lighter granite can be more suitable for a lighter home,” says Brayden. Gravel looks lovely and gives a satisfying crunch underfoot. If you choose this cost-effective solution, contain the gravel with metal, brick or timber edging – as with all path materials, neat edges make all the difference.

A solid path is the most common choice, but pavers with plants between them can be cool walkways, making a path look more organic, says Tammy. “Using different hardscaping materials can also help navigate the journey through to the front door, such as stepping stones to a solid tiled landing to help give a sense of arrival,” she explains.

Front garden with limestone path, steel raised garden beds filled with plants near house wall

Plant greenery in your front yard

As with any part of the garden, hardscaping is only half the story – round out your landscape design with a curated selection of plants. You can soften path edges with greenery, explains Tammy. “A traditional home lends itself beautifully to tightly clipped box hedges, but the formality can also be softened by mass-planting ornamental grasses, which provide a sense of dynamism to the garden,” she says. Strategically chosen border plants along garden path edges can add a new dimension to the garden experience – grasses rustle in the breeze, while a row of lavender releases an inviting fragrance.

Consider what can be seen from the path as well. The front garden is a fantastic place to create a scene and a stylish welcome, whether it’s a blowsy bed of flowers or a statement tree.

Add outdoor lighting for ambience

Safety is paramount, so good outdoor lighting should be high on the list of must-haves, but Brayden advises not to overdo it. “We like to use low-level path lights along an entry path and on key travel areas, such as steps leading to the house’s entrance,” he says. If stronger lighting is needed to navigate a tricky path, consider sensor lights. Solar lights are an easy D.I.Y. option, but make sure they won’t be triggered by anyone walking past on the footpath outside your gate.

View of garden, with walkway between two, raised steel, garden beds planted with herbs and vegetables leading to house.

Sensory front garden ideas

To make the stroll to the front door of your property a truly immersive experience, outdoor speakers are an off-beat inclusion that you can use to pipe relaxing tunes or even birdsong. Working in a water feature is another way to add aesthetic and auditory delight. “Water helps create a visual feature as you walk in and when you’re waiting at the door,” says Brayden. “If you have moving water, the sound can help diffuse traffic or other surrounding neighbourhood noise, too.”

Garden with a large pot water feature, surrounded by trimmed bushes, trees, and a cobblestone ground.

Want to spruce up the outside of your home?

For more ways to lift your outdoor spaces, check out our D.I.Y. advice.

 

Photo Credit: Natalie Hunfalvay, Gap Photos/Richard Bloom, Gap photos/Pernilla Bergdahl, Gap Photos/Brent Wilson

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.