What are the Different Options for Landscaping Front Yards?

Dan Cavallari

The curb appeal of a home can go up exponentially by landscaping front yards to accentuate the beauty of both the yard and the house. In most cases, simple is good — too much clutter makes the home look messy — though in other cases, elaborate landscaping ideas may work best. More modern ideas for landscaping front yards include xeriscaping, which is a method of gardening and landscaping that reduces or eliminates the need for irrigation or outside water sources beyond natural rainfall or groundwater. Xeriscaping is popular for landscaping front yards in areas in which water is scarce or unavailable altogether.

Even a simple front yard has lots of curb appeal if it's well taken care of.
Even a simple front yard has lots of curb appeal if it's well taken care of.

Landscaping front yards with a limited amount of space is a much different task than landscaping front yards with more space available. In moist climates, a well-manicured lawn goes a long way toward enhancing curb appeal, but the size of the yard may prevent a lawn from being practical. Small front yards will benefit from stone walkways, small plants and shrubs, and small flower beds in sunny areas of the yard. A fence surrounding the small yard can add visual appeal to the space, and providing one or two small or medium focal points will keep the yard from appearing too small and cluttered.

A well-manicured lawn improves a home's curb appeal.
A well-manicured lawn improves a home's curb appeal.

A larger yard is a great opportunity to showcase flower beds, larger plants or trees, or gardens. Remember that too much in the front yard can make the yard appear smaller than it is, and it may make the home seem cluttered and messy. One medium sized tree will appear elegant when standing alone in a yard, or surrounded by smaller bushes, but several trees and bushes may look scattershot and unkempt. Remember, too, that the more trees, shrubs, and gardens one puts in the yard, the more maintenance that yard will require. Shrubs lining the front porch and flower beds along walkways or around trees add a nice highlight to an elegant yard.

When landscaping front yards in drier climates, one might consider a xeriscape. Xeriscapes take advantage of strategic planning to ensure water obtained naturally goes to the plants that need it most. Effective irrigation is vital to a well-planned xeriscape, and the soil is often combined with home-made compost without chemicals. The xeriscape is mulched to keep moisture from escaping the ground, and to keep the ground cool for plants. Non-native plants are generally avoided, as are lawns and other plants that use a significant amount of water.

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