Front Yard Landscaping Ideas


One of the most difficult areas of your yard to landscape is the part that is seen (and judged) the most - the front yard. While a backyard can be your private oasis, the front yard makes a statement to your community. Many neighborhoods have homeowners associations or covenants that dictate the landscaping that is or isn't allowed in your front yard. So how do you make your front yard unique without upsetting the neighbors? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Planting beds
Many suburban homes have planting beds only up against the house. Create planting beds throughout the yard to break up the monotony. Add depth by planting different sizes and shapes together, and place at least one small tree or shrub in each bed to give the bed purpose when plants are not in bloom.

If allowed by your town and neighborhood, planting the area between the sidewalk and road brings privacy to the yard space and adds visual interest for passersby. An alternative option is to plant only the half of the area near the sidewalk. This will give the garden bed a tidy appearance, keep the area from looking too different from the neighbors' yards, and provide a safer place for you to stand or kneel while you tend to your street-side plants. In areas that receives a lot of snow, make sure to plant hardy trees and annuals near the road. Snow plows and the deep snow they dump on your yard can damage and compact the soil each winter, making it difficult for perennials to spring back when the snow melts.

Fences
A fence along your property can look uninviting, but when bordered by tall flowers and plants it can make a beautiful feature piece. If you build a fence for privacy or security, set it back between one and three feet from the sidewalk or road (check your local regulations) and fill the space in front with plants of a variety of heights. They'll fill the space and provide some coverage to the fence, giving you security and privacy without the harshness of a plain fence.

Paths
One of the most important features of any front yard is the path from the sidewalk or driveway to the front door. The material, size, and layout of the path can make or break the front yard's design. Before you choose the layout of your path, walk the route a few times to see what feels right. A curved path will feel more natural and add visual interest, but too much curve will take up unnecessary space. Instead of poured concrete, try a material with texture to bring life to your yard. Concrete pavers and patio block are easy to install yourself and look great.

Patios
Front porches immediately add a feeling of comfort and welcoming to a home. But if your house doesn't have a front porch, building one can be a big expense. A simpler way to achieve the same feeling is to incorporate a front yard patio. Using concrete pavers or patio block, a front yard patio is an easy do-it-yourself project. The best way to make the patio part of the whole design instead of a random addition is to connect it to the main path using the same materials. Install a pergola above the patio and you'll have the intimate porch feeling without blocking your home from view - or the view from your home.

With a little inspiration, your front yard can go from unoriginal to the best yard in the neighborhood. Keep in mind your home's overall design, your budget, and the amount of time you want to spend on gardening and maintenance, and you will create a work of art that you and the whole neighborhood can enjoy.