Your front yard is the first thing persons will see as soon as they arrive at your home. This will make a lasting impression on your visitors. Realtors call this “curb appeal”, meaning that as a person drives up or walks by, your front yard sets an expectation of what’s to come.
Much like going on a job interview, your initial presentation sticks in the mind of the viewer long after the interview is over. Likewise, if your front yard is overgrown and landscaped in a haphazard way, your visitor receives an uninviting impression of not only your home but you and your family, which is clearly undesirable.
If you are trying to sell your home, your front yard landscape can kill the deal before they ever set foot in your house. So you can see that your front yard landscape is important. Maybe you do not see yourself as an artistic landscaper and feel at a loss as to how to proceed.
If you can afford it, the easiest solution is to contact a reputable landscaper to help you out. Depending on the size of your front yard and the amount of work required, a professional front yard landscape design can prove quite expensive.
However, even if you do not feel up to the entire task, there are a number of aspects you can define and tasks easily accomplished before consulting a professional.
For example, if you have overgrown areas that you obviously want to get rid of, get out the weed whacker and spend the morning clearing that area. Just like cleaning up a cluttered room, you will immediately have a better idea of both space and what you have to work with.
If you have got toys, bikes or a bunch of pots from summer garden work cluttering the area, clean that up as well. Simple tasks like these can inspire you with ideas of what you might like to see in their place.
The now cleared area you have serviced with the weed whacker may be larger than you would have thought and in your mind’s eye, your new front yard landscape should have an eye-filling burst of springtime color, with tulips and daffodils dotting the area.
Maybe a climbing rose would look nice making its way along with the porch supports. Look through garden magazines and books, which are full of front yard landscape ideas. How about a natural stone pathway or brick retaining wall?
Everyone knows what they would like to see in their front yard landscape, even though they may not know exactly how to execute their plan.
Get out a tape measure and make a scale drawing of the portion of the house facing front as well as the dimensions of the front yard. Mark trees and fences and other garden elements you wish to retain.
Roughly sketch in areas in which you would like certain color schemes and features in your front yard landscape plan. Now you are ready to call a professional. You will make their job easier, get a front yard landscape just to your taste and save money too!
Welcome To My Front Yard Gardening
One of the key decisions when drawing up a garden design is how to approach the front yard landscaping. Behind the house, in the backyard, you can hide a million things that nobody sees, but the front yard is your home’s ‘public’ face as it were.
So this begs the question – how do you want others to see it – and therefore you? Another consideration is value-adding. Quality landscaping can 5% – 10% value to your property – and this can benefit you if you want to borrow against accumulated equity or, more importantly, if you are putting the house or property up for sale.
Landscaping your front yard should not cost you an arm or leg no matter the size. Trees can fill up large spaces when combined with lawns. They also can add a touch of serenity or elegance.
Inviting and Welcome
By their shape and foliage trees can also add be an extra architectural feature in their own right. This can also be true in small front gardens if you use trees like silver birches or Japanese maples or flowering cherries or almonds.
Some simple beds of cottage flowers are easy to construct and inexpensive – and with all the color you can obtain from annuals like marigolds, foxgloves or petunias and the like – you add both a sense of welcome and enhance the front yard with beauty. The main aim is to create a sense of invitation and accessibility.
As we don’t use the front for much else, it doesn’t have to cost a lot. A simple design usually works best.
DIY Front Yard Landscaping
Anyone can do their own front yard landscaping if they need to save the expense of professional landscape architects. If you do not know what to choose, simply look around at the better gardens in the street and neighborhood – to see what you like – and if they look healthy, then you know they will also work in your garden.
Good gardeners love to talk about plants and garden owners will identify the names of the plants if you don’t know them. They will also pass on tips if you need them. You also can take a leaf from a plant or a digital picture, and your local nursery should be able to identify the plant from that.
Care And Maintenance
All plants prefer good well-drained soil, mulching and occasional feeding with manure and other targeted feed from time to time. In the heat of summer keeping up the mulch will conserve water and keep your plants happy.
Having said that, many plants will grow in soils and conditions that are not optimal. I have grown roses will in the tropics – with a constant fight against fungal diseases! But I deemed it worth it as I can’t live without roses!
The better the growing conditions the better the plant will be of course. Soils can always be improved and mulching helps be more water-wise in dry regions. Clay can be broken down with gypsum and sandy soils can be built up with regular mulch and manure.
If you need information on how to plant (soil, mulch, etc), the local nursery will always provide free advice. They will also tell you what plants are drought resistant, tough, not delicate and how fast they grow and what maintenance they need.
Quality comes from balance and careful placement of what plants you choose for your front area. Simplicity works well, as do more complex designs that incorporate a wide range of plantings and features like cottage garden beds, hedges, trees, bushes, arches, fountains and so on.
Add to that a perception of order (in the sense of tidy, not necessarily formality). Finally, adding subtle landscape lighting can heighten the beauty of your garden and make your front yard landscaping an asset at night as well as in daylight.