You should never neglect your front yard. It may not take priority when the interior is a mess, but nevertheless, you need to remember that the front of your home is the first thing most visitors see. Too many homeowners ignore the wonky gate and weed-infested path. They assume nobody will care if the inside is welcoming and pristine. But, a poor first impression sets the tone and no matter how dramatic your home’s interior is, if you eventually decide to sell up, a lack-luster front yard could jeopardize the sale.
Here are some easy strategies for landscaping a front yard. The good news is that you don’t need bottomless pockets to make these changes.
Follow the Layout of Your Home
Creating curb appeal is not always easy to pull off. Too many overgrown trees or a fence that jars the eye will leave visitors unimpressed, so step back and look at your home objectively. Is there a path or a driveway leading to the front door or garage? Is your home built on an incline?
The eye should naturally lead straight to the entrance, but paths and driveways don’t necessarily need to be straight. A curved path or driveway is often more aesthetically pleasing. Instead of fighting against a steep incline, build a gently sloping path that zig-zags up through a terraced garden. If you don’t want to disrupt the existing landscaping, create a pathway that enhances rather than detracts plants, rocks, and trees.
Add Visual Interest with Rocks, Stone, and Gravel
Whilst plants need soil to grow, bare earth soon attracts weed spores and until your garden is mature enough to choke out weeds, you will have to spend most weekends weeding and tending your plants. A heavy cover of mulch is one way to control weeds, but landscaping stone is attractive and achieves the same purpose. Black landscaping rock, gravel, and stone chips are versatile and a great way to differentiate between different sections of your front yard. Use gravel as mulch and bring in some larger river rocks to break up the design.
Plants and Trees
Plants and trees add structure to a front yard. Once you have your main architectural features in place – paths, driveways, fences, etc. – work on a planting scheme in keeping with the local environment and climate. If you live in a hot climate, for example, Florida or Arizona, avoid lawns, as they require a great deal of water during the summer. Instead, choose drought resistant, low maintenance plants that will look great all year round. If you need help choosing suitable plants, have a chat with someone at your local garden center.
Lighting is important. Visitors need to see where they are going. Install lighting at the main entrance as a matter of priority. Next, consider decorative lighting for pathways and to highlight special features. Solar lights are inexpensive to buy and cost nothing to run.
Spend a bit of time planning your front yard before you dig everything up. Think about the style of your home and plan a design that is in keeping with the existing aesthetic.