Authored by Douglas Mefford in Landscaping
Published on 11-20-2009
When you go out in public a good first impression is always helpful. Making a good first impression when someone comes to your home is equally valuable. The front yard of your house can easily be made into a beautiful welcoming scenario with just a little do-it-yourself landscaping.
Landscaping your front yard is much different than fixing up the back yard. Back yards are usually casual and relaxed whereas a front yard is generally more of a showpiece. Such home improvement experts as Bob Vila note that a well landscaped front yard can add as much as twenty percent to the value of your home.
One can begin by focusing on the central aspect, the front door. To make it welcoming and friendly, some plants around the structure will soften the edges. You do not have to plant trees and shrubs, the use of some attractive container garden plants can be set upon shelving. With the container system, you can either focus on a few large leafy plants or switch out flower groupings as they bloom and wither so the front yard around your door will always be surrounded by colorful blooms. The container motif can also be used to help define and accentuate the walkway up to the door. Small stands of flowers or fancy leaf plants can provide height and texture to an otherwise straight and boring walkway.
Permanent plant emplacements can also spice up the landscaping in your front yard. It does require a bit more planning so that you would be able to coordinate the colors of leaves and flowers for seasonal changes in blooming and fall color changes. Trees should be used more to frame you home and provide needed shade or privacy. Avoid over planting of trees as they can soon overshadow and kill off other plants used to fill out the landscaping design.
In an open area of your front yard, you can create a special “garden” area. This may be designed with rocks, some ubiquitous lawn furniture or even a small gazebo. It is not even necessary to dig up the area. One can spread a layer of soil or mulch over a ground cover cloth, or even newspapers, to inset small plants or shrubs. Different types of mulch can also add an extra element of color to the overall color scheme. Such features can help fill in the space and create the illusion of greater size and complexity for your front yard’s appearance.
Another useful and not particularly expensive landscaping idea for the front yard is to install and highlight certain features with lights. The small solar-powered ground lights are very effective for showing off the walkway or a select grouping of flowers or flowerbed. A small floodlight can be angled to illuminate the undersides of trees for a very interesting effect. One can even experiment with different soft colored lights for heightened and unusual effects. Lights can also add some visibility for added security in the front yard.
There are many ideas for landscaping the front yard; many which will not cut into your budget very much. Even if you do not spend much time in your front yard, you can still create a unique and pleasant space to make your home a better place to live.