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25/02/2013 at 14:56

We moved into our Edwardian mid-terraced house about three years ago and have had great pleasure (as novice gardeners) clearing and creating a back garden.  Our sights are now turning to the front 'garden' or forecourt.

It is currently concreted over.  The original path is long gone and replaced with a pink stone composite.  We have inherited an overgrown cottoneaster and originally had a huge laurel hedge that provided wonderful cover for the burglars who broke in 9 months after we moved in.  The laurel has now gone, but the stumps remain in a narrow bed along the front (modern) brick wall.  The cottoneaster is along the side wall with our neighbours.

I would like to redesign the garden and give it an Edwardian look/feel again, but naturally considering wheely bin and council compost bin storage.  My husband would love a lavender hedge, and possibly rosemary.  It is south facing and he loves cooking, so having ample supply of rosemary and thyme in the front would be a bonus (thyme doesn't do too well in our back garden).  I haven't had much luck finding inspiration for 'Edwardian' front  gardens though - plenty of park-like, extensive back gardens and lots about Edwardian garden designers and their colour schemes/planting choices.  But before I get that far, I need an idea for the basic layout/structure.  Can anyone point me in the right direction for inspiration/pictures/designs?

25/02/2013 at 15:12

I think that is a really good idea. Many people are familiar with the idea of restoring the interior of a house. But restoring a garden is less common.

People are often at a loss to know what to do with a front garden. Period restoration is a sensible answer.

I don't know the actual answer to your question, but books such as the one just below may provide some useful information and original photos. I don't know whether the book says much about front gardens..

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=ws4fAQAAIAAJ&q=edwardian+front+gardens&dq=edwardian+front+gardens&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ln0rUehBhZbRBe_IgagL&ved=0CDsQ6AEwAg

It's available from Amazon for just a couple of pounds (click the Amazon link on that page).

My own house, which dates from just before that period, had dahlias, and climbing roses over a trellis, in the front garden. But that's in a rural location.

25/02/2013 at 15:51

The path to the front door should be clearly defined, often with black and red quarry tiles in an alternate pattern. The path would be edged by rope edging, still on sale, though you would have to make some lower for the bins which you could put in a hidey hole/cupboard. They would probably have had a hedge - privet etc. The planting would have been formal maybe with a central bed with the rope edging around it that you could plant as you like, Dahlias were becoming popular in Edwardian Times. You could use the lavender as your hedge. They would have had a bit of grass around the bed but would probably not be very practical so maybe carrying on the tile pattern or some stone effect paving.

 

NB If you could put in your profile the area of the country that you live it helps with the advice you are given

25/02/2013 at 17:05

Thank you both!  Some good food for thought there.  Thankfully, we have some original rope edging, so maybe we can put it to good use now.  Extending the tile pattern would also be a good (and practical) idea as the area is fairly limited and I don't really want to have to bring the lawn mower through the house for a postage stamp!

Thanks again.

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