Louise Tomlin takes a look at garden related topics. This time this time it’s the unexpected benefits of lockdown in ‘putting on a brave front…’

There can’t be many of us that would say that their life over the last few months hasn’t changed much. We’ve all had to modify our behavior to a certain extent to comply with the restrictions and to take into account the new social distancing rules. I do hope that you’ve all faired well and that even though times have been tough you’ve managed to glean some unexpected benefits, maybe spending more time with family, getting stuck in to jobs at home, or using your one walk a day to explore your area more thoroughly? Thankfully only being able to go out once a day has now eased. I’m a keen walker, so I certainly made my one walk a day count, it encouraged me to take the path less travelled and discover new sights.

A lot of my walks took me through residential areas and as the weeks went by I noticed how some households made extra special efforts to put on a show at the front of their properties. Maybe they always do this or perhaps it is an effect of lockdown and having more time to spare but I definitely began to notice more great front gardens.

I thought it would be good to show some examples that I’ve noticed where the homeowners haven’t just used plants to jolly things up a bit, but they have incorporated decorative features, colours and the style of the house to create an impressive tableaux for anyone passing by to enjoy. These efforts act as a good counterbalance to the households who don’t seem to care about how things look, who leave piles of rubbish, overflowing wheelie bins and discarded items around, sadly there are a lot of them! So let’s focus on the positive results of the people that do care and the benefits they bring to the environment. Thank you for making a difference.

Delightful Delphiniums

Beloved of cottage-style gardeners, Delphiniums are the star attraction in this front garden. By choosing many different shades from powder blue to deep purple the owners have created an impressive display that bursts upwards from the sympathetic planting and contrasts with the buff brickwork of the house and the cream gravel of the driveway. The overall effect is very striking.

Warm Welcome

This lovely little garden is an eclectic mix of styles that work well together to create a convivial setting. Timber sleepers inset in gravel with restrained planting looks unfussy and trendy. The traditional white picket fence complements the welcoming white bench, which seems to invite you to take a pew and relax for a moment. Large
terracotta pots are home for a deep red Maple and a European fan palm, that complete the charming and chic scene.

Life’s a beach!

Seaside themes are very popular not just in coastal towns, surprisingly I’ve seen them in inland settings too, maybe because they are fun to do and when they are done well they are very effective. This one also goes to show that it’s possible to make a statement in a very restricted space without going overboard and scattering seashells, fishing nets and an over turned rowing boat. Whoever dreamt this one up is definitely an artist. The house is clad in white weatherboard which acts as a perfect backdrop for a coiled rope, driftwood, beautiful pebbles in muted shades, some the same colour as the sandstone paving. A single pot with an Agave in it and a stunning burgundy Maple, complete the effect.

Wonderful wisterias

No round up of fabulous frontages would be complete without at least one that shows my flowering favourites, Wisteria. These climbers adorn many houses in early summer. It’s no mean feat to grown one up the house like this example. They need expert pruning to keep them from looking straggly and to get them to flower. It takes a dedication over several years to get one to end up looking this good. Well done!


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