Your front yard is the first impression that people get of your home when they come over. In fact, it serves two main functions: to provide an entrance to your house and secondly, for creating a kerb appeal. The prettier your front yard is, the more impressed your guests would be. In addition to both these purposes, a well-designed front yard landscape tremendously improves the appeal of your house by complementing its architecture and giving a more homely feel. Nobody likes a bland and open space. There are many ways and plenty of tips and ideas that can give your front yard an updated and a fresh look by taking advantage of simple landscaping ideas.
Front Yard Landscaping Ideas
You must first decide how to make use of your outdoor space. There are many ways the front yard can be used, depending on your own preferences and on the size of the space. You can think of it as an extension of your family space or you could draw the line at simple and basic trimmed hedges that do not attract too much attention. You may also have a bit of both, but whatever you plan to do, you must always remember that it should be doable and practical and should be a welcoming factor to your home. Some other front yard landscaping ideas are mentioned below:
- The front entrance
The front yard is the entrance to your house.It can be used as a driveway, for which the most common type of materials are concrete, which is quite cheap, andbluestone, which is easily available. These materials are also quite durable and do not require too much maintenance. If your front yard is also big enough for a walk way, then you can consider lining up the pathway with round stones, which have become quite popular in recent times. You can use materials like stones or bricks which look great on a pathway and are quite appropriate for a garden setting as well. Having solar pathway lights is also a good option, since they give a beautiful and serene light at night and are also easy on the pocket. Furthermore, you can line it up with flowers or other plants close by and paint it up with bright colors or a theme that complements the overall architecture of your house.
- Be creative with the designs
You can use your creativity and think outside the box about how to convert the front yard into a number of different and unique spaces. You can have decorative shrubs, garden borders, which can accentuate all of these different areas and set them apart from each other. Having curving paths also provide a great design on the floor and gives an impression of continuity and of connection. You can add in many water features which create an artistic appeal. If you also have tall trees in your front yard, make sure you do incorporate them in your landscaping design. If you do not have trees, or need additional plants, then always go for the native ones which would have better health and longevity and would not be high maintenance.
- Open up a crammed front yard
If your front yard is very small and has overgrown shrubs and plants then you must start with removing the overgrown plants and cleaning up the shrubs. You can then decide to put up small plants or trees which can enhance a small front yard space without putting too many plants in once place and creating an overwhelming experience. If your front yard is too small and unmanageable, then you can simply consider getting rid of the grass altogether and replacing it with a lovely ground cover that would be better in terms on appearance and would also require less maintenance.
- Do gardening rather than mowing
If you have more flowers in your garden, it would drastically reduce the need to regularly mow the lawn. Having different types of flower beds in your garden would also create more interest in the lawn and provide color to your front yard. Having a lot of grass in your front yard or in your garden in general usually requires a lot of maintenance and work, while flower beds simply requires watering.
- Have a terraced garden
It does not matter whether your front yard is big or small, but having the features of some terraced plants will add a lot of appeal to your front yard and provide more space to plant more flowers and add texture to your space. When you are getting flowers for the front yard make sure they are bright and colorful and also have a contrasting texture and form so that they stand out from each other. Most of all, however, you must remember to get plants which are easy to maintain and do not require too much maintenance. Usually the plants which are locally grown are the best in terms of price, maintenance and their growth.
- Add many flowers
Most of the best front yard landscape designs are those which have the right balance of plants and flowers. However, planting flowers which are colorful are always a safe bet and would give a welcoming feel to your front yard and to your garden. You can go for different styles and types of flowers. You can either keep them potted on the side, or grow them in the ground. The potted flowers can always be moved around as you require and provide a lot of convenience and flexibility.
- Guest entertainment area
You can also have a patio on your front yard which can serve as a space for entertaining your guests outdoors. You can decorate that patio with flowers or a small hedge which will make it look more enclosed and intimate. You can go for flowers which are easily available and bloom in most seasons and of course bright and colorful ones! If you are making that area a sitting area for yourself or the guests, make sure you do not plant anything that would be too in your face, attract flies or cause allergic reactions to people.
- Decorate your front yard
Sometimes going with the flow is the best tip you can use for your front yard. You can simply keep your garden maintained, put up a few potted plants and work on other decorations such as having a fountain, or garden sculptures or even have birds in cages. Decorating your front yard is not just limited to plants and flowers. You can also use other decorative items that can provide an attractive appeal to your front yard. It all depends upon how big your front yard is and how much you are willing to spend in terms of your time and your money.
The do’s and the don’ts of landscaping
When you are considering fixing your front yard with new landscaping ideas, you must consider all the upkeep that will be required. There is no point in having a great and impressive looking front yard for one half of the year and, for the rest of the year, it might be in ruins with bushes and overgrown shrubs. It may be okay to have your backyard go wild sometimes, but your front yard is the main part of your house and it would damage the appearance of your place and you must keep it as good looking as possible.
This means that you should avoid:
- High-maintenance plants
- Plants which are susceptible to diseases or pests
- Flowers or plants which require daily or frequent watering
Instead you should go for the following tips:
- Go for easy care plants which have a long season
- Give your plants a structure or a backdrop on which they can grow
- You can plant some flowering vines such as a clementis or a climbing rose that can go up till your lamppost
- Use materials in your landscaping ideas which are similar to the ones used in your house in order to complement it
What to consider when landscaping your front yard
Even though there are many factors which must be considered when you are giving a fresh new look to your front yard but amongst the most important ones are:
- How much it would cost for the front yard landscaping ideas to materialize. You must set a budget to work around and you must also calculate if you are adding elements to your decoration which might increase the cost of your upkeep.
- The size of your front yard. As mentioned earlier, this can be the single most determining factor on what you can and cannot do with your front yard landscaping ideas.
- Do you have the time to maintain it? You might be excited about working on the front yard or it may be spring and you want to see it in full bloom during the season, but are you really ready to take it up as a frequent chore? Even low maintenance plants and flowers do require some form of upkeep or else it would end up looking wild.
How to save on your front yard landscaping cost
Landscaping does not necessarily have to be really expensive and there are quite a few ways through which you can save on costs or work within a budget when you decide to implement the front yard landscaping ideas.
- Reduce the sizes of the plants
All plants of the same species which are used in landscaping mature at a particular diameter and height. For example, the pink oak will mature at 25 foot diameter and will be 40 foot tall. This happens no matter whether you plant an expensive specimen or you start from seeds. When you buy the specimen from the large plant grower it would obviously cost much more than to start the plant from the seeds. So if you do want to install the pink oak, you will also have the exact same size as the one with the specimen grower and at a fraction of the price! You should not cut down on the quantity of the flowers or the plants required in your front yard as it would not serve the purpose. Moreover, this concept of not buying specimens does not apply everywhere and in all situations. For example, if you are buying a tree to shade your sitting area, you obviously need it for immediate use and growing it from the seed would take forever for you to get the tree shade on your sitting area.
- Choose your material wisely
Most of the masonry such as paved walls or raised planters ends up taking most of your landscaping budget. A lot of times even the materials and their finish end up costing too much in terms of price and it goes beyond the budget. The tip here is to only use the masonry and the high end building materials on places which are more accessible and in your face. For example, you do not have to put high end materials all over your front yard but simply on the front entrance or the place which you have designated for the guests. On other places, you can go for materials which blend in perfectly with the rest of your materials and do not stand apart.
- Avoid construction
Nowadays everything can be available on a budget and you do not have to spend on unnecessary construction around your outdoor area. You can buy portable units which can replace expensive onsite construction. Things like plug and play fountains or the light weight portable grilling machines and even portable fire pits can be used without having to spend an arm and a leg.
To conclude, there are many different tips and ideas which you can go for when you want to give a new look to your front yard. Not only would it impress your guests, but would also make you feel better about your place and give you a new space which you can enjoy with your family. If you are into gardening then these landscaping ideas would be ideal for you to try!