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First of all, don’t pave over your front garden!

The three golden rules for front gardens are:

1. Keep the amount of hard surfacing to a minimum

Even if the front garden is used for parking, two tracks for the car's wheels plus a path is all the hard surfacing needed. This will also be less expensive than extensive hard surfacing.

De-pave. Discover rain gardens.

2. Use permeable hard surfacing materials

Choose a surface that lets water through, such as gravel, grills, small slabs, bricks or matrix pavers, and ensure that the hardcore layer below is also permeable. This allows rain water to drain naturally through the soil.

See our Rain, Water and Flooding section for information on suitable materials and approaches.

3. Grow plants which don't need much care and attention

There are many shrubs, perennial flowers, self-seeding annuals and small trees which don't need much looking after and, in combination, look attractive all year round.

Plants in front gardens also provide valuable shelter and food for birds (berries, seed heads), butterflies, bees and other insects (nectar in flowers). 

Native plant species may be the best choice - they support wildlife and don't need much looking after! Some non-native species may be better for dry conditions.

See the Biodiversity and Gardens and Green Spaces sections.