No matter the size of your front yard, landscaping front yards usually have different planning requirements than other, more private areas of your garden. The front yard is typically more open, making it easier for visitors to find their way to your front door. You must also consider that landscaping front yard designs should incorporate certain safety factors, guarding against intruders. The style you choose may be a factor as well. For example, if you have a large front yard in the cottage garden style, this may affect access adversely, both for guests and intruders. A more open plan may be a better choice, but this doesn’t preclude using privacy screens or shrubbery to achieve both objectives of privacy, safety and good looks. Let’s take a look at some design techniques you can use to create your ideal front yard landscaping.
If you might be selling your home in just a few years, you’re wise to heed that old real estate adage on ‘curb appeal’. When selling a home, the front yard landscaping is what prospective buyers see first. This truly can make or break the sale. A well manicured front yard makes that buyer more enthusiastic about your home before they ever enter. In this case, you might want to give this factor some weight.
When you’re landscaping front yards, you want to scale your garden design to the size of the front yard. For example, a small front yard is overwhelmed with a single large tree as the main focus, causing the front yard to appear smaller, as well as awkward. Consult plant catalogs and gardening encyclopedias to find plants which are suited to the size of your front yard.
Before you settle on a specific style, browse the home and garden magazines to pick out plants and design features which you find appealing. Compile a portfolio of these various features, including lighting, trellises, pathway materials, edgings and statuary – whatever catches your eye. Ultimately, you probably won’t use all of these, but this technique helps you focus and directs you to a style that suits all of your objectives.
A large front lawn, with green stretching from the street to your front door, edged with a curving flower bed next to a brick pathway, is perhaps the most open of landscaping front yard designs, but not the most interesting. Consider breaking up the space with some well placed patio trees, which still allow easy access, but don’t give a direct line of sight to your front door. Back lighting and down lighting around these trees serves two purposes: safety against intruders and an element of drama.
A good compromise on landscaping front yard designs is to begin with an open look – on paper or with software – and address privacy and interest concerns as your design develops. Let’s say you love that big expanse of green lawn. Why not divide it in two, with flower beds at the perimeters which are broken up with a grouping of ornamental grasses close to the entryway?
When choosing candidates for the flower beds, think about seasonal color. Interplanting spring bulbs with later blooming annuals and perennials can provide three seasons of color. Look for winter color in ornamental grasses and plants like Cottoneaster, with bright red berries in the dead of winter.
Lighting is an essential consideration when landscaping front yards, particularly along pathways, steps, porches and decks. You want these areas to be well lighted. Solar lighting is an inexpensive and attractive way to accomplish this.
Landscaping front yards requires careful planning. Follow these guidelines, and settle on all of your design components before you start digging. You’ll have a lovely front yard!