The Basics of Front Yard Landscaping

The Basics of Front Yard Landscaping

The basic differences between backyard and front yard landscaping are in the intended purpose of the design. Front yard landscaping will first consider how to provide necessary access into the home while backyards are usually focused on entertaining or relaxing. And since the front is where folks usually enter and leave home, they also takes curb appeal and invitation into consideration. So with the two basics of appearance and access in mind, a front yard landscape design can often be as simple as designing the necessary walkways, driveways, and other access and then designing the rest of the space around them.

Planting ideas and schemes in front yards will often follow a rule of simplicity and repetition. Less is often more. It’s important that the plants, as well as all other elements in the landscaping, complement the home rather than overpower it. Trees, shrubs, and some larger plant groups are important in design to help transition, hide, blend, and unify the home into the landscape.

The corners of the house and the front door entry are two areas that need special consideration in the design. In some instances the front door is the focal point of the house. And in order to frame it and focus attention on it, it’s a common practice to transition down to shorter plantings on both sides of the front door. For the corners however, taller plants are necessary to soften the corners as well as lead the viewer’s eye toward the front door.

Trees can also serve to frame the view of the home. The frame can be used to channel the focus on the home as the most dominant element in the landscape. Select trees with a shape that can match the overall design of the house. Steep angle roofed homes will most always look best with trees like Spruce and Birch which are pyramid shape. And for the lower lines of a ranch type dwelling, trees that are horizontal or round in shape, like maples and dogwoods, are great choices.

And just as the other plants and trees, lawns are also important parts of some front landscapes since they can create atmosphere. A lawn on the front yard with uncluttered flower beds, shrubs and ornaments can create the illusion of extra space.

As with all designs, the most important step in designing landscaping ideas in the front is to start with a complete and finished design. Whether you plan to do the entire project all at once or in steps, a finished plan is necessary to keep it on track. Without a finished plan, you’ll end up with a pieced together patch work landscape. Before you begin, consider all we’ve discussed in this article and create a finished plan.

In a nutshell, front yard landscaping is about access, creating curb appeal, and accenting the home. And as simple as it may sound, coming up with an appealing design can really be as simple as designating the necessary entries and then creating a simple design around them.