Design Your Front Yard
Impress your neighbors and visitors with some simple front yard landscaping ideas. How much of an effort have you put into the outside appearance of your home?
What does your front yard say about you as a homeowner? Better yet, what do you think when your neighbor’s curb appeal is lacking, well, appeal? Curb appeal, by definition, is the attractiveness of a property for sale and its surroundings when viewed from the street.
Curb appeal is especially important for selling homes because it is the first thing potential home buyers see when they pull up to the property. Just imagine if you went to look at a property and the front yard was a mess. Shutters are hanging off, the driveway is cracked and the grass looks as if it hadn’t been cut in weeks. You wouldn’t want to get out of the car.
However, selling your home is not the only time you should be worried about the outside appearance. As the homeowner you want your front yard to be attractive at all times. After all, it says a lot about you as a homeowner and what awaits your visitors on the inside. So take a minute, grab a notebook and let’s take a look at some really simple ways to make a big impact to the design of your front yard.
Inexpensive Front Yard Landscaping Ideas
In my previous article, I showed you how to decorate with houseplants. In this article, we are going to explore some low cost options for sprucing up your front yard.
Xeriscaping– Simply put, Xeriscaping is landscaping and gardening strategies that reduce or even eliminate the need for irrigation. This landscaping practice is encouraged in areas or regions where water is limited. Do not for a second think this means you are restricted to just the usual cactus, desert plants and gravel backdrops.
Denver water introduced this concept in 1981 in its efforts to practice water conservation. Xeriscaping reduces water consumption by 60% therefore reducing your cost to maintain. It’s favorable for it’s low maintenance needs because it requires far less time and effort to cultivate. A wide variety of plants can be used in non-desert climates when you organize plants with the same water requirements together.
Another common practice among Xeriscaping is to use plants that are native to the local environment. They will easily adapt to the climate and in return require less supplemental irrigation. Lawn grass should be avoided with this concept but colorful choices such as bitterroot, aka Lewisia, which is a perennial. Zebra grass, Angelina sedum and the Sunburst honey locust tree just to name a few.
Arbor Day Foundation- A foundation that distributes free trees for anyone who buys a membership. The membership is just $10 but it will afford you 10 free trees. You can choose any trees you wish but it is recommended that you choose wisely. Pick trees that are suitable for your region to increase the survival rate. You can position them around your yard to create a living fence that will provide an abundance of shade and privacy for years to come.
Mulching– Using mulch all by itself is a great way to add a clean and polished look to your front yard. Mulch comes in a couple of different shades and can provide a nice finishing touch to any flowerbed. I found that some communities provide free mulch to its residents. Contact your city’s parks department and inquire about the mulch program in your area. If you are willing to pick it up, you can add some flavor to your yard for free.
Perennials– Plant life cycle differentiates annuals from perennials. Annuals complete their life cycle in one growth season so you will continue to spend money each spring and must be replanted each year. You can save money with perennials because you can plant them once and they will produce seed each year. Their comeback game is strong and have an average life span of seven years. They tend to grow bigger and bigger each year so pruning is a must if you want to keep them tame and looking their best.
DIY Front Yard Ideas
Water Features– Adding a water feature is an easy way to add interest to any front yard. The sound of water running is said to have a calming effect the human psyche. Sitting on your front porch in the summer evenings with a water feature nearby will be a great way to wind down. It only takes a few items and a little patience to make one and they are easy to install. Add in some plants that require a higher ratio of water to create visual interest.
A Clean Walkway– Believe it or not, when your walkway or area around your yard is dirty or the concrete is cracked this can have a negative effect on the look and feel of your property. Make sure to clean and clear your walkways of debris and loose leaves. Your sidewalk should not be cracked and uneven. This can also be a walking hazard for your and your guest. So keep those sidewalks nice and tidy.
Flower Beds-Flower beds are an easy way to add an abundance of visual appeal in your front yard. You can add a variety of flowers and small shrubs by layering with annuals and perennials. Remember to allow space for them to grow without crowding. Flower beds are a great way introduce some texture too.
Cover Your AC Unit– You can hide your less attractive air conditioning unit by covering it with an attractive cover you can make yourself. With some lattice and wood trim you can help that unsightly air conditioner blend in with your garden and add a little character.
Small Front Yard Ideas
Placement of foliage is very important in a small yard. You should maximize your space without overwhelming it. Try one area of your small yard to accentuate. Try planting in the center or one side of your yard for a stunning feature that will pep up that lawn.
Be sure to take care of your greenery. Grass is an important element that when properly cared for will make your front yard more attractive. It won’t matter much how nice your water feature is or how nice the ac unit cover is if your lawn has uneven brown patches roaming through it. Spend time on making your grass green and plush. A well groomed lawn is sometimes all you need to make the difference in being attractive or an atrocity. No one likes a raggedy lawn.
Try planting some Azaleas for a burst of color among the greens. Azaleas are a beginners dream because they are easy to take care of and do not grow much so they would not take up much room in a small yard. Plant them in the spring or early fall. The soil should be acidic and well-drained.
Easy Front Yard Landscaping Ideas
Remember your yard is a reflection of you. Curb appeal is an important detail that not only adds interest and attractiveness to your home but to your community as well. So do your part and consider some of these ideas to add visual appeal for your neighborhood. Happy Decorating!