As you’re looking for some great landscaping ideas for front yard bragging rights in your neighborhood, there are some things to consider. At Patio Covers Place, we’ll be the first to admit that the backyard is our first love. We’re more interested in lounging and creating outdoor rooms and patio spaces that are both functional and enjoyable. However, there are some backyard landscaping ideas that can be applied to the front yard as well.
The key with much of landscape design is proportion. Varying heights, patterns, colors and shapes are all important elements to blend well. With the right balance, you’ll notice that the yard just looks more inviting and attractive. Sometimes, it is a few simple steps you can take that can help transform your run down, beaten or boring looking landscape. So, let’s move on to some of these steps.
Front Yard Landscaping Ideas
Think about your home as a picture. The front yard landscaping should blend in well with that picture and utilize certain elements to frame this picture. These elements could be taller trees or defined structures on the home (like exterior shutters, a chimney or some other defining element of your home) and will also include the various hardscape elements.
Hardscape refers to aspects of the landscape that are not living. This could include elements like pavers, driveways, walkways, water fountains, fencing, retaining walls, and (in the backyard more likely) wooden structures, like a pergola, arbor or trellis.
In the front yard, these structures would be used more commonly for an entrance to the backyard; like a vine or flower covered arched gate opening. These can also be found in wrought iron designs.
Part of what makes front yard landscaping ideas different than the backyard is that we don’t spend as much time in our front yards as we do in the back. The trend of moving more outdoor living to the back has transitioned over several decades. In the past, front porch designs had more of an appeal, but times have changed. These types of trends happen all the time.
As first discussed, it is all about proportion and dimension. Landscaping ideas for small yards will have some different principles to consider, but you can find them used in any size lot, just as separate, divided spaces. It doesn’t matter if you’ll be doing the work yourself or you have a professional landscape contractor or designer helping you out. Here are some tricks or tips.
One key principle is to add depth or dimension to your space. Yards with different levels or tiers make for more appealing and intriguing looks. Even in a smaller space (maybe even more so) having dimension can draw the eye in different directions. You don’t need to be too elaborate, just create a step or second tier using retaining wall blocks. You can have one tier be a small patch of grass and the other one can be a filled with colorful flowers. This way, you also achieve the elements of color and minimize your maintenance of a large lawn.
Another way to minimize maintenance issues is to use native or drought tolerate species of plants. Often termed xeriscaping, this type of landscape design features plants that can tolerate less watering. Many of these species will grow more slowly too, limiting the amount of trimming and maintaining necessary. This is more popular in backyard landscapes because they make for great landcapes around pools.
Country Garden or Cottage
This is a very popular style and is appealing on many levels. The country garden has a very flowing and flowery look about it. With its variety of colors and shapes, the design is light and represents the joys of a coming spring. If you aren’t careful, this landscape will leave you feeling a bit underwhelmed in winter when nothing is blooming and all appear dead. Having some perennials will give you more life to the space. This is the design that you will most likely associate with the front porch and old Americana.
Modern and Contemporary Landscapes
This is more of a concept than any particular type of design feature. Modern landscape designs are characteristically more friendly to the environment in terms of water use and rely more on properly used hardscapes. These will often rely on more low cut shrubs in geometric patterns, like squares, circles and patterns. The bluestone paver and grass checkerboard is a common example of a design theme that is used in combination with concrete features to create a minimalist contemporary feel. You may also see rock or pebble used instead of grass or living materials. Very well manicured rather than free-flowing plant life are common elements as well. Think ‘green and grey’ as a common theme with this style. A central water feature, like a fountain in a courtyard may anchor this space.
Front Yard Curb Appeal
Your landscape should welcome you and your guests to your home. As the picture, it should invite you in. A simple and well planned front yard will help you enter the home easily. Using a paved driveway or paver walkway to approach the front door is appropriate. Use large anchor trees sparingly. Large trees with branches that could potentially become hazards for collapsing on the roof of your home or cars in a driveway should be considered. One large tree in the right spot can do a lot for your design and provide shade to your home as well. Keeping your yard well-maintained is a much better use of your time than planting a huge variety of plants that need constant attention in order to look good. Using the right balance of hardscape features and softscape will give your home a wonderful presence in your neighborhood. Remember that the color of your home, front door design and exterior lighting are all aspects of landscaping ideas for front yard consideration also.