Fall is the best time to plant and an excellent opportunity to upgrade your landscape. We’ve seen some amazing transformations and want to reward your hard work! The winner of our Fall Photo Contest will be featured here on PlantingTree.com and receive a $250 PlantingTree gift card!
Whether you’re just moving into a new home or you’re looking to update the look of your yard we have easy landscaping ideas for the front of your house so you can get started.
Designing your landscaping can feel a little daunting, but that doesn’t have to be the case. In this article, we’ll discuss easy landscaping ideas for beginners. Our objective is to help you focus your project by giving you three important things to consider and guide you toward the plants that will work best for you.
Easy Landscaping Ideas for the Front of the House—The Basics
There are three essentials to consider when landscaping the front of a house.
- Functional design
- The architectural style of your home
Let’s first take a look at privacy. If part of your design objective includes privacy, you will want to clearly define the level of privacy you wish to attain.
If you’re concerned about regular sidewalk activity and cars passing by, you can focus on choosing plants that dull sound and provide a barrier to sightlines. If you have neighbors that enjoy boisterous outdoor parties and you’d like to create a buffer between their yard and yours, you may want to choose plants that add both height and a barrier to sound.
Whatever your objectives, planting for privacy means thinking in terms of landscaping layers. To do this, divide your front yard into four zones: foreground, middle ground, background, and borders. Once you’ve divided your yard, follow these easy landscaping ideas for beginners.
Your foreground layer is the one closest to the curb. There, you can plant a soft barrier. You can create these barriers using natural materials and other landscaping elements to be planted or easily placed. Elements including stone, trees, hedges, and shrubs are all a good choice.
Some of the smaller privacy hedges and shrubs we recommend include American Boxwood, Hicks Yew, Ligustrum, and Mugo Pine. Each of these plants helps create a soft barrier, clearly defining your yard. They are not as high as other privacy plants we offer, and they are all relatively low maintenance. Perfect for your foreground zone.
Now that we’ve addressed how you can use your foreground to address privacy needs let’s move to the other zones in your yard.
Background and Border Zone Privacy
You can use the background and border zones to block views and direct the eye. Whereas your foreground layer avoids obscured views, you can use the other zones to plant taller, fuller, and more dense trees and shrubs.
Our more robust privacy trees include the Thuja Green Giant, Steeds Holly, Wax Myrtle, and Leyland Cypress. The Steeds Holly requires the most maintenance of these four privacy trees due to its vulnerability to mites or scale. With a bit of attention, it is still considered a good privacy tree for beginners.
These easy landscaping ideas for beginners will help you achieve the level of privacy you wish to attain in the front of your house.
One important decision you’ll need to make when landscaping the front of your house is the central focus of your yard. Most people choose either their porch or their front door. Either way, you will use essential elements of design to draw the eye to your focal point. These elements are line, mass, and form.
If you’re looking for landscaping ideas with a porch, your objective is to make your porch look welcoming and for the rest of your yard to “gather” your visitors to this focal point. To this end, you will use color and texture to add interest to your design and mass and form to create a unified landscape.
Line carries your eye from your foreground zone to your focal point. Whether that’s your porch, door, or some other feature you’ve selected, your lines should create a physical path and flow to your focal point.
One way to do this is to use a monochromatic color scheme when lining your sidewalk with flowers. Another way to achieve a strong line is to repeat it with another line, side-by-side. You can create a repeating line using the same color flowers, or different color and type, as long as the line runs parallel to the first.
Mass refers to the visual size of an object. It can be created by grouping several plants of similar size and texture. For example, you can choose 3-5 plants that bloom simultaneously and in a matching color to form a mass. You can also combine several varieties of grasses—of varying structure and texture—to make a bold statement. Pink Muhly Grass and White Cloud Muhly Grass are options that add color and texture.
When including massing in your landscape, you’ll most likely want to place your masses toward the center and background of your yard. Keep in mind that you want to balance your masses so they complement one another and continue to lead the eye to the focal point at the front of your house.
Form refers to the shapes of objects. The shapes you choose to include in your landscaping can imbue your yard with a particular mood and add emotion and ambiance to your aesthetic. In general, the shapes you have to choose from are circles, squares, triangles, or irregular shapes.
Round shapes tend to evoke softness and flow, while harder edges create a feeling of safety and balance. Triangles exude structure and direction, while irregular shapes can add creativity and capture attention.
You can use features such as fountains, garden ornaments, your porch, outdoor furniture, and other landscaping methods to create form and then complement those forms with plants. For example, create a rectangular border around your front yard and add manicured shrubs to line the edges. Additionally, you can mirror those design elements with outdoor furniture that feature rectangular lines.
When you choose a form to work with, you can apply it to every element of your yard. Using this technique guides you as you make decisions throughout your design process.
The Architectural Style of Your Home
One more element to consider as you plan your easy landscaping design for beginners is the architectural style of your home. Your landscaping should reflect the lines of your house, as well as the colors and textures used in its construction. Things to consider as you look to work with your home and not against it:
- Is it symmetrical or asymmetrical?
- Would you describe the materials used to construct your house to be understated, simple, and clean? Or, are they dramatic, rich, and varied?
When your plant choices align with your home’s aesthetic, synergy is created. This elevates your landscape design.
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to landscape design. Hopefully, this gives you plenty of easy landscaping ideas for the front of your house. Design, plan, and plant a front yard that is inviting, beautiful, and as private as you wish for it to be. Consider your privacy needs, the function you wish to attain through your design, and work with your house to make the front of your house look like home.
You May Also Like: