Garden design can be fun but with so many possibilities out there, it can be tough to commit to one particular design. This is especially true of front yards, which act as your impression to the outside world. Unless you erect a massive fence, your front yard will be visible to anyone who walks past and will speak volumes about who you are and what you represent.
Hence, front yard design is of paramount importance. To get it right, here are 10 ways to make the most out of your front yard, with both style and substance.
Plan a flow
Architects like to preach the importance of function and your front yard is no exception. Follow natural walkways from your house to the curb. Not only does this look better, but you’ll stop your kids or pets from veering off course and ruining that lovely lawn or garden you’ve put together. If your house is higher or lower than the footpath, think about some curves along your path to reduce the steepness.
Everyone likes their front yard to stand out in the block but you don’t want to create a monstrosity that has your neighbors in an uproar. Think twice before you invest in a mammoth sculpture or a potential eyesore feature of decadent Roman columns.
Work out your overall theme
Before even deciding on actual plant species, work out the overall narrative for your garden design, preferably by drawing a bird’s-eye view plan. What this involves is working with color schemes, pathway requirements, type of plants you’d like. For example a canopy of shade under trees or foliage and shrubbery as borders for your path.
Trees as a major consideration
Trees obviously make for a fantastic focal point in any front yard. Placing a maple or dogwood tree in there can transform and revitalize even the dullest of areas.
Thinking about plants
By now, you probably have some consideration of what you’re after. It just comes down to picking the right ones. Aside from the obvious – getting plants that match your sun and shade levels – it’s also about color and what works well together.
Things to consider when you think about plants
Some people prefer to study and grow beautiful native plants. Others simply go to the local nursery and see what takes their fancy. Whatever your consumption habits, make sure you read the labels and get plants that won’t grow 20 feet higher than you assumed.
Your front yard is much more than the garden and pathways. Often you’ll want to spruce it up with a swinging chair or some frills. We love the idea of using battered old chests-of-drawers to house pot plants near the door. Old window shutters as a decorative piece, stones, and rocks as pathway borders or slate stepping stones to segment your path are some other great tips.
Paint your house to match
Remember that re-doing your front yard can have the effect of exposing that old paint job on your house. If you fear this is you, then this might be a perfect time to match your lovely new front yard. Pick a color you like. Make sure it fits the color scheme.
As with virtually everything, there are short term and long term fixes. The short-term will look pretty and vibrant for maybe a few seasons but then peter out like other landscaping blunders. That’s why picking flowers, paths, features and things that will endure and thrive is so important.
Hire a professional
If this seems a bit overwhelming, don’t be scared to get some help. It can be a godsend advantage to have the opinion from a knowledgeable, authoritative source. This can range from a professional consultation to a hands-off approach.