Front Gardens

Rustic front garden

In every home you visit, the first thing that immediately welcomes you is the front garden. The front garden will greet your guests even before you do. 

In most buildings nowadays, or in the overbuilt city centres we experience every day, there is usually no space for a front garden. 

Nonetheless, we can use different plants in order to give a more welcoming, green look to our front doors.

Colourful front garden
Colourful front garden

Front garden plants

There are many ways to do front-of-house landscaping.

One way to do this is to use a mix of large and small plants in various pot sizes. If you have stairs leading to the main door, you may opt to have a potted plant on each step.

Some of the most appropriate plants to keep in your front garden, or leading up to your front door and front of the house include:

  • Ficus (Fikus)
  • Bay Laurel (Siġra tar-rand)
  • Japanese Mock Orange (Pittosporum)
  • Monstera Deliciosa (Swiss Cheese Plant)
  • Epipremnum Pinnatum (Marble Planet)
  • Hoya
  • Garden Geranium (Sardinell)
  • Chrysanthemum (Krisantemi)
  • Kalanchoe
  • Agave,
  • Crassula (or Jade Plant)
  • Aloe (Aloe vera)
  • Schlumbergera (Christmas Cactus)

Another option is to use hanging baskets with various flowers or plants, such as Vinca or Spider plants.

Wiring or thin ropes can also be used to grow trailing or climbing plants from the floor to the top of the door, or from the handrail to, for example, a balcony close by. The hoya is perfect for this.

When cultivating your plants, try and opt for a natural look by choosing plants of different sizes and colours. When doing this, keep in mind that plants tend to grow both upwards and outwards, so make sure you leave enough space for your precious plants to grow healthy and unrestricted.

An easy but amazing way to welcome guests is by decorating your front door with pair of bay trees or olive trees on either side of the front door. A Trellis can also be used close by to encourage climbing plants, and provide shade to the door.

Front garden with large trees
Front garden with large trees

Get creative

Try and get creative in this space! Landscaping your front yard can be easy!

The green of your plants and the colours of your flowers can also provide a sense of calm and security to you as you leave your home every day, and will be there to welcome you and help your inner peace when you get back home after a hard day at work.

In busy and overbuilt cities, front garden and front door plants can help breathe life into grey, concrete areas. 

A problem that has become, unfortunately, too common in Malta for example.

We can help our homes and streets become home to birds and wildlife, and as much as possible reduce some of the pollution that we live in on a daily basis.

Traditional front garden
Traditional front garden

What can you put in your front garden?

For those of you with more available space (in Malta, most people don’t have this luxury) you can be a little more innovative, including a traditional-looking gate, a garden arch (arbor) and several climbing plants along with hanging baskets.

The use of a wooden, more rustic-looking bench gives a great sense of calm. Keeping minimal gaps between different plants ensures your front garden looks lavish.

More space also gives you the opportunity to grow more plants that flower at different times of the year, ensuring as much as possible that your front garden and front door are always full of colour all year round.

Another landscaping idea for your front garden is raised garden beds. These can add a colourful touch to your front garden if you plant seasonal perennials with colours throughout the year. If your home is in an elevation, you can use raised garden beds to your advantage and build the garden beds on top of each other, creating a staircase effect.

Depending on the position of your home and the amount of sunlight it gets, you can also encourage climbers to go up the face of your home. Imagine how beautiful it is to have the front of your home covered in natural green leaves instead of stone or bricks.

If you are lucky enough to have a massive tree in front of your home, why not create a round bench that goes around the tree? These wooden tree benches can become the setting for many family gatherings and can be also cheap to purchase or build if you have some good do-it-yourself (DIY) skills, using old wooden pallets.

Classical front garden
Classical front garden

Car driveway

In most cases, some homes must dedicate the ground space to a path or car driveway. This is the perfect case for planting flowers in pots. 

Tiny spaces can be brightened up with planters and pots next to and under window sills, doors and garage entrances. 

Some people in Malta use this space to grow herbs to add practical use apart from visual attractiveness.

The most important thing is not to waste any space. If you can’t park your car, then put pots and front porch planters. 

If the area is not part of the path that takes you to your door, plant an olive, lemon or orange tree (make sure it gets enough sun). 

As long as you have a clear and easy path from your car and driveway to your front door, then you will be fine.

Paving over your front garden can be very depressing, especially if a whole line of houses in the same street do the same. This gives a very gloomy and grey view of the neighbourhood.

Some people in Malta opt to cover their driveway and the space in front of their garage with tiles. This is not very recommended as tiles can be slippery and crack over time. You also need to maintain the grouting between tiles over the years.

The driveway can also be decorated with plants. In most cases, the tyres of the car will not  drive on all the space of the driveway entrance.

In that empty space, you can grow some plants and flowers that tend to remain quite low, and don’t grow further than 5 centimetres in height.

Using rabbit wire mesh, you can also create an artificial arch for climbing plants. This provides shade and adds aesthetic value to your home. 

Plants that can be used on the bottom of the garage ramp entrance in planters or planted directly into the ground include:

  • Bermuda Grass (Niġem)
  • Crocus (Żagħfran)
  • Oxalis (Ħaxixa Ingliża)
  • Scarlet pimperne (Ħarira ħamra)
  • Mesembryanthemum (Kristallina)
  • Short succulents

In terms of climbing plants for the wire mesh, you can try:

  • Ivy (Liedna)
  • Honeysuckle
  • Stephanotis 

Along the side walls of the garage ramp, you can try 

  • Chrysanthemum (Krisantemi)
  • Garden Geranium (Sardinell)
  • Geranium

Walls and Hedges

Landscaping designs for the front yard are numerous. 

If you do have the space, there are some amazing things you can do. Budget permitting, one of my favourite ideas is a wooden pergola that can provide personality and shade to your garden.

A garden hedge can be used to provide privacy and divide your garden from the public street in front. 

Some of the best plants you can use in order to create a garden hedge include:

  • Japanese Cheesewood (Pittosporum)
  • Bougainvillea (Buganvilla)
  • Calendula (Marigold or Suffejra tal-ġonna)
  • Ivy (Liedna)
  • Lantana

If you already have a wall in your garden that separates your home from the street, and you would like to cover this wall with colour, then it would be good to think carefully about the use you would like to have for this wall.

Plants with thorns can give an extra level of security against unwanted animals or intruders, however, if your wall is bordering on a public space where people walk by, this is not really appropriate.

One of the best choices is the Bougainvillea. This plant enjoys sunny locations, and few plants can give a colourful effect around your home like the Bougainvillea can. It is also relatively easy to care for and low maintenance.

Another familiar choice is Boxwood, which delivers thick leaves that are easily pruned into shape.

Front Garden ideas

There are thousands of different front garden ideas you can opt for.

All of this depends on your budget, available space, amount of sunlight etc.

Two of the best sources of inspiration are definitely or

Alternatively, your local garden centre will surely be able to help you with some ideas and what plants to use in your location. 

Another option, which certainly costs more money but provides an excellent result is to consult with professional landscape designers.

I personally prefer the DIY route as it enables me to express my personality better and gives me the ability to be flexible and change ideas as I go along. Of course, it is also much cheaper.

Best of luck with your front garden landscaping, and as always, happy gardening!

If you found this post interesting, you might also like the following:

Join our newsletter! Subscribe here to get fresh content delivered to your inbox.