They say that people have just 25 seconds to make a first impression when meeting someone new. The same is true for your visitors coming up the front walk to your home and looking at your front yard landscaping.
Looking for cost effective front yard landscaping ideas to update your home?
Projects that improve the curb appeal don’t have to be costly.
Update a tired front yard using a few of these simple ideas. It might be installing a small front entry garden, adding a shade tree, or updating your foundation plants. Even adding a fresh layer of garden mulch can do wonders.
This article shows you how to create a unique and welcoming inviting front yard and entry in a weekend or even a day.
If you don't have the time or skill , here is some practical advice on How to Hire a Landscaper to get the job done .
Take a good look at the front of your house, how is the “curb appeal”? Be honest. Does the yard look worn and tired? Here are some steps that you can take to begin to transform your yard and use on trend landscaping ideas for easy updates whether you stay or sell .
Take photographs and look at your home gardens and
front yard landscaping objectively – as if you didn’t live there. What
would you say about your front yard landscaping ideas if this was what
your neighbors yard looked like?
Write down the problem areas on a notepad.Are the plantings overgrown? Is the walkway wide enough, well lit and safe? Is there enough mulch? Are the flowers and hedges healthy or do they look bedraggled and worn out?
Assess everything with a keen eye …..The lawn , trees and flowers beds, even the house condition. Be brutal here. Take the time to think about what you have now and the vision of what you really want to create. Sometimes we live with things and we don’t realize (or are in denial) about how shabby or outdated our homes can get. Cracked sidewalks, overgrown weeds , or dead shrubs are easy fixes.
Go inside your house and look out the main windows. The view of the front yard should be exciting from the inside looking out. too. Take note from that point of view. What are the focal points? Is there an opportunity to block the view of the neighbor house for more privacy? Do you have year round plant interest?
Take more notes. Decide what you’re keeping and what you want to replace or add. Think about the style of your house, and plan for the landscaping to be compatible to that.
Look through garden and landscaping magazines for your creative vision. Decide on a garden design style and focus your efforts to keep to that style. It’s easy to get distracted.
Start clipping out the front yard landscaping ideas that you want to use, and keep the notes in a garden journal.
4. Use outdoor garden furniture in the front yard. Place a small sturdy aluminum table and chair set near the front door. Who said that the seating areas had to always be in the back yard? Clear out some space near the entry area by removing old shrubs that are past their prime. Add mulch or decorative gravel underfoot, a few outdoor cushions for the chairs and this tells visitors that they’re welcome to stay awhile. Adding an umbrella in coordinate with the cushions looks very festive from the street.
5. Choose one plant and flower color and repeat it .Plant flowers in the front of the house all in the same color family for an easy elegant front garden . Add mulch that is complimentary to the flowers without competing. Extend and bring the flower garden beds out towards the street using curving soft lines for a friendly look. Anchor the flowers with a single variety of shrub positioned in groups of 3.
6. Transition from the drive and walkway -especially if it’s long and straight. Add curved lines with pocket gardens filled with flowers, shrubs and small trees like Japanese Maples. These curves give an illusion of space, have a friendly tone and creating these transitional spaces break up the monotony. Landscaping with stone and adding boulders to these areas can tie the house, hard-scape and planting beds together. Read this article for other path ideas..... Path Ideas
7. Build an island garden in one corner of the yard in a weekend. This can be a simple project by adding a large mound of black dirt over a layers of newspaper. The newspaper keeps the weeds down, , and adding the black dirt on top doesn’t require any digging on your part. Add a few shrubs and low maintenance perennials that are suited for the amount of sunshine the area will receive. Cover the dirt with mulch or landscaping rock . Use landscaping bricks or other edging around the perimeter for easy mowing !
8. Use garden structures like an arbor , trellis , or a tall sculpture to add a vertical dimension to the front yard. If the plants and flowers are all growing at the same level, adding some height will break up the line and offer a secondary focal point.
A garden gate leading to the back yard on one side of the house could be used to balance round shaped shrubs on the other side. I like to use old wooden architectural pieces with vines growing up as a vertical garden accent.
9. Plant Trees - Plant trees in landscape and the front of the house , but don’t overdo it. The trees should frame the house and be used strategically to shade and privacy if you need it. Don’t buy trees that will overgrow and crowd out your front yard landscaping in a season or two or you will be spending the weekend chopping them down!
Check with the nursery for tree height characteristics, pruning requirements and maintenance. Another front yard landscaping idea--- Pines and other evergreens are great for year round interest. They stay green even in the midst of snowy winters, provide shelter for birds, and with no falling leaves, fall clean up is a breeze.
10. Outdoor Lighting for security and also to bring your house and garden to life after dark is a great way to update the entrance . You can use solar lights for a quick and easy transformation in your front yard landscaping. Ideas like shining the solar lights on the garden paths and walkways or using up-lights underneath trees for a cool effect.
Use these front yard landscaping ideas and follow good garden and landscape design principles - you’ll have a front yard garden and entry that will be fresh, comfortable and welcoming.
- Balance the design – use symmetry or asymmetry
- Keep the focus on the front door and welcoming guests
- Repeat color, shapes and textures
- Keep design elements simple
- When in doubt ,natural settings are classic – use boulders, native plants and bushes, small trees
One last note.
Before making any major changes…… or implementing these front yard landscaping ideas, it’s recommended that you check with your town or city zoning committee and building codes to make sure you’re not breaking any neighborhood rules or regulations.
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