Front Yard Garden Design

FRONT YARD GARDEN DESIGN – Front yards are the most important part of your property and when it comes to garden design great care should be taken when designing and planting the front yard.

Why?  The old saying,  ‘First Impressions Count’ is extremely accurate when it comes to property, and especially if you are thinking about selling.  Over my years I have seen some stunning gardens and yet the love, care and attention is sometimes overlooked when it comes to the front yard.

Ask any realtor and they will tell you that a neatly kept, attractive front yard can sell a property as their potential buyers first impression is that the owners love and care for the home they live in.

The best part about the front yard is that providing you plan the garden design carefully, you’ll end up with a yard that is truly beautiful and not that difficult to maintain.

Careful designing of the front yard can make it low maintenance.

Careful designing of the front yard can make it low maintenance.

First off needs to be the design.  You do not have to be a professional landscaper to design a garden – you just need to give your ideas careful consideration and decide what is and what is not practical.

For instance, if you want a tree in the front yard consider how big it will grow and more importantly, how extensive the root systems are- you do not want trees roots destroying your home’s foundation.

Note that when it comes to trees you do have to be very careful as most grow pretty large and can end up blocking out precious sunlight, not just to your home but that of your neighbor.

Tree Rule – Think carefully, find out how big it will grow and how far away from the house it needs to be to ensure it does not cause damage to the property.  Note carefully here that if you live in an area where trees are prone to being blown down due to bad weather conditions then a falling tree can do an awful lot of damage.

Keeping the garden design simple and tidy

Keeping the garden design simple and tidy

I think the key to a successful front yard garden design is to keep things simple and keep the plants low growing.  This way you can add a lot of color to the front yard without covering up your property.  Careful planting is designed to enhance the home; so make it bright, make it colorful and keep it low.

If you really want to grow bushes such as a Juniper Bush or Holly Bush then select these carefully.  As with trees they can cause damage to a property and if you let them over grow will block out sunlight.  Remember to research the plants, shrubs and trees you want to grow to determine how practical it is to plant and maintain them.

Low growing plants in the front yard allow the property to be seen.

Low growing plants in the front yard allow the property to be seen.

When designing a front yard garden do think carefully about the maintenance.  Remember that your front yard will get seen by many people and if you do not have the time to spend maintaining the garden all the time then careful planing will reduce the maintenance such as weeding a garden.

For example, before planting up the garden lay down weed mats – this will really help cut down on weed growth.  Low and ground covering plants also help suppress weed growth and finally a good layer of mulch or bark chippings will help.

Personally I like bark chippings because of the variety of colors available and they add a nice aesthetic look to the overall garden.

A simply flower bed can really brighten up the facade of your home.

A simply flower bed can really brighten up the facade of your home.

Look at the example above and see how well the flower bed matches with the home.  The designer here has used the same stone on the flower bed as the ones used for the building and this gives the appearance that the flower bed is actually part of the building.

Note how simple this almost minimal garden design is and due to this simplicity, it is stunningly attractive and I would imagine almost maintenance free – pluck a few weeds out once a week and mow the lawn and you are done – nice!

All the plants are low growing around the path, providing a wonderful and colorful entry to the home.

A beautiful walkway to the entrance of the home

I like the front garden design above as it provides an attractive pathway to the entrance of the home.  Note all the low growing plants and note how tidy the whole garden looks.

The only concern I have here is with the tree to the left – again if you do want a tree do your research to ensure it is suitable and will not damage your property.  Also note in the right of the picture that there a plants growing high and covering the window – if you like this type of design there is nothing wrong with it but it will block out natural sunlight to the interior of your home.

A simple but attractive center piece for this front yard design.

A simple but attractive center piece for this front yard design.

The home above has a wonderful front yard and the designer has given a lot of thought regarding the building.  Although you cannot see much of the building in the photograph above it is evident that this is a mansion and therefore to reflect the grand appearance the designer has opted for a Stately Home Formal Garden design.

Again, note the bush that is covering the window on the right of the picture – not a great idea but that is the only flaw I can find with this stunning front yard.  The Trees in the center?  I would highly suspect these are miniature fern trees and if not then they are far enough away from the house not to cause any real damage.

If you like this type of design I would strongly recommend Miniature Trees as they are so easy to maintain and they will not cause any damage to your property.

Brick raised planting beds keep pants contained in this front yard design.

Brick raised planting beds keep plants contained in this front yard design.

One great way to keep a front yard tidy is to build raised plant beds so that the plants can be contained.  You can build raised plant beds from timber or if you are handy with a bricklayer’s trowel then why not lay bricks and build a brick wall as in the example above.

Imposing front yard rock garden design.

Imposing front yard rock garden design.

If you have the space and you like your front yard to be a little more dramatic, then a Rock Garden is just the thing you need.  The photograph above is a wonderful example of a dramatic entrance to the home and note that the large trees, that really add to the overall presence of the garden, are set away from the home.

There is nothing wrong with having trees and in fact trees add color in abundance to garden, but as I have pointed out, large trees can be very difficult to maintain and can cause damage to a property.

Personally I love the example above and it is extremely well kept and I am sure that any passers-by certainly admire the love and care lavished on the front garden.

A clean and almost minimal front yard garden design.

A clean and almost minimal front yard garden design.

For those of you who like the minimal approach to design, then the example above will certainly appeal.  I love the way the designer has highlighted the planting through (what I assume) is a dark mulch or bark chippings.

I also like the fact that a few miniature trees are present and planted in containers and finally here the whole scene is set off with a beautiful hanging basket.

Sweeping flower boarder leads beautifully to the home.

Sweeping flower border leads beautifully to the home.

In my final example, and certainly one of my favorites, this front yard has everything you could possibly desire.  Beautiful low growing bedding plants, miniature shrubs, trees (nicely set away from the home) and just wonderful hanging baskets.

The whole idea of a really nice looking front yard garden design it to make the home feel welcoming, bright and cheerful and all of the examples above have achieved this in style.

My advice to anyone looking to design a garden that is truly stunning is to sit down with a pen and paper and sketch out a preliminary design.  You will need to do research on plants and when it comes to buying plants understand what to look for so that you do purchase healthy plants.

I hope the above information and pictures provide you with a little inspiration for your next front yard garden design.  Please leave any comments below.

Check out what people are talking about in our Garden Landscaping & Design Group.

  • vineyardflute

    Hi Graham,
    Ah, these examples are so perfect. I agree in keeping things low, but a narrow bush or tree can also “frame” a window or door and be used as an accent. Most homeowners also have the advantage of doing their garden once, where over the years as we have worked on the house the front has been ever changing in space and shape-its a real challenge so I count on using annuals to buffer the empty spots until a project is done.
    Thanks for the ideas, Dee

    • hometipster

      Hi Dee

      I really like to see a garden with plenty of trees and shrubs although with the large varieties you do have to be careful with the root systems disturbing the foundations of the home. Check out the video in this guide –

      I really like the use of Evergreens as these provide color even in the depths of winter.

      Glad you liked the article.

      • vineyardflute

        Thanks for the link, I am heading over there now.
        Have a great day, Dee

  • Dianne Young

    Hi Graham im looking at doing my two front yard gardens and they need to b low maintance as i cnt bend to pull weeds out, cld u plse send me some ideas for a slight slanted gardens with really nice plants etc? My email is same for f/book ty?

    • meebal

      Hi Dianne,

      You could build raised flower beds. There are many ways to do this but try this article –

      I do know there are weeding tools you can buy that do not require the user to bend down. A good start here would be Home Depot or Lowes; both should be able to supply them.

      If you are not into building a raised flower bed yourself you can buy these pre-made; again Home Depot and Lowes would probably stock these.

      Bedding plants come in a vast variety and any good garden centre will be able to provide great advice. Using a variety of colors would also break up the boldness of the stone you have in your garden and tie it altogether.

      Hope that helps :)

  • Dianne Young

    ps it has to b/able to take the greyness out of the stones that ive got in the gardens, its blue metal and now i dnt like it, i did wanted the white but cnt afford it.

  • Julianne

    Great ideas! Just a note: you misspelled border (boarder) on the last picture. But I just thought you might want to correct it. :)

    • hometipster

      Hi Julianne

      Glad you liked the article. Thanks so much for pointing out the spelling error, you’re a star! It’s so nice when someone takes the time to make things better; really appreciate it.

      You should notice that I’ve edited the article :)

      Have a great day!

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