Designing a front yard is usually about accessibility and invitation. We spend hardly any time in the front yard as opposed to the backyard, but it is where we enter and exit our homes. For this reason, we may put much thought into driveways and walkways and then design everything else around that.
Landscaping your front yard can add curb appeal, a sense of invitation, increases the value of the property and acts as framing for your house. Though it is an important element of your house, you shouldn't have to spend a lot of money to create a beautiful landscape. Something simple and functional can have maximum impact as well. Here are some ideas to help you update your front yard landscape.
Use your front door as a focal point – Paint the door a color that both contrasts and compliments the color of the house. The walkway should also flow easily to it so that people aren't confused where to go. You can use a soft curvy line but keep in mind that you don't want your guests to be wandering around thinking they took the wrong path that may never get them to the front door. In other words, it should be like following bread crumbs. Another way to lead them to the front door is to frame the house with smaller plants near the door.
Freshen up what you already have – At times all you have to do is prune and shape your existing foliage to revamp your front yard. Use vertical plants and shrubs to soften the corners of the house. You can also change out some of the potted plants you have for a different look.
Outdoor garden furniture adds appeal – If you think that outdoor furniture is only for backyards, you're wrong. You can find an area near the front entry to place a small and sturdy aluminum table and chair; even if you have to clear away some old shrubs that are past their prime to do it. A nicely decorated seating area, maybe with outdoor cushions, gives guests the impression that they are welcome to stay for awhile.
Build an island garden – This can be done in less than a weekend. Pick a good spot somewhere like in the corner. Lay down layers of newspaper to keep weeds down and cover that with a large mound of black dirt. Add some shrubs and low maintenance perennials appropriate for the amount of sunshine in the area and cover the dirt with mulch or landscaping rocks. Use landscaping bricks or other type of edging around the perimeter and you're done.
Use garden structures – Using an arbor, trellis or tall sculpture can add vertical height especially when the plants and flowers are growing at the same level. A garden gate leading to the backyard on one side could be used to balance round-shaped shrubs on the other side.
Add outdoor lighting – This is great for added security as well as to maintain the appeal of your house after dark. Solar lights are great for this purpose. You can place them along the walkway and underneath trees. They require no installation, wiring or electricity so pick your spots and that's it.