Front yard landscaping is all about creativity, first impressions, and how you want to welcome guests as they knock on your door. To inspire you, we’ve gathered 17 landscaping ideas for your front yard to spark your creative juices, increase the resale value of your home, and make the most of any slopes and hills on the way to your front door.
Working with a budget? No need to stress: A landscape professional can create a plan that works for you and doesn’t break the bank.
Time to get creative with these front yard landscaping ideas:
17 Front Yard Landscaping Ideas
1. Plant a Tree (or Two or More)
A tree is a treasure your family can enjoy for generations, and it can add significant value to your home. Trees can also be a great center showpiece option in the yard. Grow a shade garden below its branches, set up a cozy bench, or spruce it up with flower beds.
Trees in the yard will become home to wildlife and provide pollution control and fresh air. A mature tree will absorb more than 48 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year.
2. Flower Beds
Designing flower beds for your front yard is a great way to express your personality and creativity with a pop of color. Flower beds can add gorgeous texture, color, and fragrance to your garden ideas, and luckily you have plenty of flowers to choose from.
If you love pops of bold colors that add an energetic vibe to the landscape, go crazy with bright yellow and stunning reds. You could also add a bright flowering shrub to fill large areas with some extra color.
Your flower bed can include a variety of plants, including perennials, annuals, seasonal bulbs, grasses, and vines. Don’t have room for a bed? Place container plants around the front porch.
Consider experimenting with different plant heights and flower bed shapes and sizes. Turn your flower bed into a welcoming space with stone pathways, allowing you to walk through your flowers and enjoy their beauty up close.
Mulch can make your flower beds burst with color, and provides excellent weed control. Cover up exposed tree roots and unsightly weeds stealing the show from your roses.
Mulch can be an aesthetically pleasing and textured ground cover for your garden, flower beds, trees, and shrubs.
You have plenty of mulch types to choose from to add color to your front yard landscape. Mulch prevents erosion, retains moisture, and adds nutrients to the soil, not to mention it’s a great low-maintenance garden design option.
Landscape edging highlights the separate spaces of your lawn. If your yard has flower beds, walkways, evergreen shrubs, or garden beds, then edging around these spaces with stone, brick, or short hedges can help accentuate them in the landscape.
Edging helps to hold mulch in place after heavy rains, protects your plants from sharp mower blades, and keeps turfgrass from invading your garden areas.
Short hedges or low fences can help direct visitors to parts of the flower garden you wish to show off. Edging also can keep guests away from areas you want to protect, such as a freshly planted garden space.
5. Landscape Lighting
After working on your landscape design, you naturally want to show it off. Not just during the day, but also at night.
Landscape lighting will make your hard work sparkle after the sun goes down and have your guests asking how you created such a beautiful front yard. It can accentuate your home’s architecture, provide security in your secret garden, and illuminate your stunning trees, shrubs, and flower beds.
6. Window Boxes
Installing window boxes can add instant curb appeal to your front yard landscape. Window boxes add charm to any exterior window and give you an exceptional view of your favorite flower right from the inside.
Window boxes can provide the front of your home with an instant splash of color and cover up any scuffs and scrapes that stick out like sore thumbs on your windows.
A paved walkway serves many purposes. It can give visitors a clear direction on where to walk without trampling on your lawn. You can highlight special features on your property with a walkway, directing people to stroll past your magnificent oak tree, cottage garden, or a stunning view.
Bring unity and cohesiveness to the landscape with a custom design that includes stone, brick, or concrete pavers. Walkways also provide a safe path to move heavy objects, such as wheelbarrows or luggage carts.
It also shows people where it’s safe to walk in your yard and helps them avoid stepping on a plant. To add to that, you’ll have less mowing for a more low-maintenance lawn.
8. Water Feature
A water feature in your front yard is a great visual interest that greets guests with calmness and tranquility. And you benefit, too.
Sit on your front porch with the morning coffee and listen to the relaxing sound of trickling water. Natural water features can closely resemble the surrounding outdoors, such as waterfalls, water gardens, or streams.
Formal water features, including symmetrical fountains, can offer elegance and unity to the front lawn.
Interested in attracting more wildlife to your lawn? Natural water features like ponds, water gardens, or a bog garden will attract plenty of animals. Add a koi pond and enjoy watching these colorful fish as you relax at the water’s edge.
An arbor will add a charming appeal to your front lawn and create a stunning focal point.
Want to attract eyes to your new front yard garden? An arbor pulls the attention of friends and family and invites them to do a little exploring and see the hard work you put into the flower beds.
Pro Tip: Decorate the arbor with flowers or flowering vines to create a stylish, eye-catching entryway.
Boxwood shrubs are a must if you want classic elegance and shades of greenery in your front yard. These evergreens make remarkable focal points, potted plants, privacy barriers, and excellent walkway edgers to ensure people stay on the path (because sometimes a stone path alone won’t keep people off the grass).
These hardy boxwood shrubs are popular for their versatility and can be cut into almost any shape or size you can imagine, making them a perfect garden design idea. You’ll make a memorable first impression when visitors see these gorgeous art pieces standing right on your front lawn.
11. Front Door
When landscaping your front yard, don’t forget the finishing touches. Your front door is among the first things guests see as they pull into the driveway.
Dress it up with potted plants, boxwoods, succulents, and wreaths to ensure an excellent first impression. It’s a great way to show the ambiance of your home before people step inside.
12. Retaining Wall
Retaining walls are an excellent way to control erosion, landscape on a hill or slope, or make a tree stand out from the landscape. Retaining walls can help you design raised flower beds and add appealing layers to your lawn.
Whether you use stone veneer, brick, or wood to build your retaining wall, your design can add instant curb appeal to your front yard’s outdoor space.
13. Shade Garden
Have you avoided building a front yard garden because you thought the lawn was too shady? Don’t let the lack of sun stop you from creating a shade-loving garden. Many shade-loving plants will thrive in the space beneath your shade trees.
After sprucing up your front lawn with hostas, magnolias, and mulch, consider adding a stone pathway that can help guide guests through your new favorite garden (and make your maintenance duties a lot easier).
A stairway in the front yard makes an excellent entry and will undoubtedly make a memorable first impression. Stairways help open up areas of the yard that may be difficult to access otherwise.
Ever had to walk up a hill just after heavy rain? A stairway can help people avoid slipping and sliding down the slope and provide a sense of safety. You don’t want your guests to miss seeing your favorite garden just because they have to walk up a hill.
A trellis can add charm and elegance to the yard, especially when you grow self-climbing plants. Place the trellis against your front home’s exterior wall, near the front door, or against the entrance fence.
A wall of climbing roses or hydrangeas will have your guests swooning before you show them the rest of your front yard. A trellis full of climbing ivy can also be an effective solution if you need privacy or a sound barrier.
16. Rock Garden
Rock gardens are an excellent idea for homeowners who don’t like the strenuous regular maintenance of a flower bed. These low-maintenance, drought-tolerant gardens are great for hot and dry areas that don’t have the typical sun, water, and soil requirements for most gardens.
Rock gardens can be as straightforward or as complicated as you want. You might decide to include some succulents in your rock garden or add some painted stones to give that extra bit of color. Regardless of how you decide to make it, your rock garden is sure to draw the eyes of your neighbors.
Need help with the heavy lifting of boulders and larger rocks? It might be a good time to call your local landscaping professionals.
Something that might seem very simple can be the addition your front yard needs. Whether you’re after the traditional picket fence, a privacy fence, or the wrought iron fence, there’s something for everyone to choose. And something that’ll add to every front yard.
When homeowners consider putting up a fence, the first thing they think of is the cost. Despite the simplicity of most fences, they can be pricey. The price will vary depending on who puts the fence up and what kind of fence you want. Fence prices usually range from $1,330 to $5,550 with an average cost of $3,440.
Want more out of your fences? Try out these other fencing options:
- Front Yard Fencing Ideas
- How Much Does a Privacy Fence Cost?
- How Much Does Wood Fencing Cost?
- How Much Does a Vinyl Fence Cost?
- How Much Does a Chain-Link Fence Cost?
- How Much Does an Invisible Fence Cost?
Obstacles and the Lay of the Land
Every artist knows a mistake can lead to their best work. Is your lawn giving you challenges that make a stylish landscape design a challenge? Sometimes a bump in the landscape can lead to creative solutions that give you the best front yard in the neighborhood.
Slopes and Hills
Hilly terrain doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Slopes and holes can open more creative doors, such as adding a graceful stairway, stylish retaining walls, and raised flowerbeds.
Speaking with a landscape designer may ease your worries as a professional can offer many design ideas that add beauty and curb appeal to your yard, even on a hill.
Loose soil and runoff may be a concern when redesigning your landscape. Yet there are many solutions to erosion, and your landscape design can be one of them.
Retaining walls, shrubs, and new turf are sound solutions to control erosion and add extra curb appeal.
Poor drainage around your home can be an obstacle when planning your front yard renovation. These conditions can lead to excess moisture and over-saturation of the soil, which then results in an unstable foundation.
Lack of sun can be an issue for some grass types and plants which need ample sunlight to thrive. Yet there are plenty of shrubs, grasses, and flowers that can tolerate shade, like oakleaf hydrangea and rhododendron. Zoysiagrasses and tall fescues also do well in some shade.
A shady lawn shouldn’t deter you from building the landscape of your dreams. Though shade may be an obstacle, there are plenty of practical solutions. Consider making your lawn less shady by hiring an arborist to trim and prune trees from your yard safely.
Depending on the materials and what you want to achieve, landscaping costs can range from $4,000 to $20,317. The average cost across small and large landscaping projects is $12,825. In general, you should spend about 10% of the value of your home on landscaping.
The average cost of landscape design services ranges from $2,204 to $6,182. Designs are how your landscape purchases all fit together. These prices often depend on how intricate your vision is.
Homeowners should keep in mind that the cost will vary depending on the size and location of your landscaping project. Maintenance is another cost to consider when landscaping your home. Do you enjoy routine yard work, or will you need to hire a lawn care professional to maintain your new lawn?
Time to turn your front yard landscape design into an art piece that even Van Gogh would want to paint. You’ve got the vision, you’ve got the budget, and you’ve answered your burning questions. The only thing left to do now is deciding if you’ll be doing the work yourself or hiring help.
Landscaping doesn’t always need to be done by a professional, though it sure can help. DIY landscaping can be a fun and rewarding process and save you quite a few pennies.
If taking on a landscaping job yourself, planning and research are essential parts of the process. Without a detailed plan, you could end up spending more time and money. Proper research helps you ensure the choices and decisions you make regarding your landscape are smart, suitable, and safe for the surrounding environment.
FAQ About Front Yard Landscaping
The cheapest way to landscape is to make the most out of the most affordable materials:
• Flowering Perennials: These flowering plants are great for budget-minded homeowners who want to add color to their front yards. Perennials come back every year, meaning they only require a one-time purchase of a $10 to $30 flower.
Annuals may be bright and bursting with seasonal color, but due to their yearly replacement costs, they are not a cheap landscaping idea. Get more for your money by investing in perennials once and enjoying the return on investment year after year.
• Mulch: Adding a layer or two of ground mulch is a great way to add texture to your yard without breaking the bank. There are many different kinds of mulch to choose from with a range of prices from $17 to $68 per cubic yard, or $2 to $5.50 per bag. Alternatively, you might be able to find free mulch depending on where you are.
• Stone walkway: Use stepping stones, pavers, or pebbles to make a walkway on your front lawn. A larger space may cost more, but typically, you’ll only spend $1 to $15 per paver or stepping stone. For pea gravel, expect to pay from $25 to $67 per cubic yard or $46 per cubic yard on average.
You can landscape without plants by implementing other designs using mulch, natural stones, rocks, and water features.
• Mulch, while generally associated with plants, can be used all on its own to add decoration to an otherwise uneventful yard. Create mulched designs combined with garden decorations to showcase your lawn.
• A rock garden is a garden made entirely out of rocks. While you can use plants in it, you don’t have to. Instead, you can stick to creating rock garden designs entirely out of boulders, rocks, and stones. With or without plants, rock gardens are a popular low-maintenance landscaping option.
• Water features such as water fountains, birdbaths, or waterfalls can add beauty and tranquility to a yard in place of plants. Whether fancy or casual, your water features will be a welcome addition to any yard.
If you want to make your yard look more expensive but don’t want to pay for a professional landscape designer, there are a few tricks you can use to spruce up your outdoor space:
• Clean up your yard.
• Add a fresh coat of paint.
• Add hanging baskets.
• Coordinate your furniture.
• Add outdoor lights.
Hire a Pro
Hiring a professional to design your landscape helps save time, energy, and money. Hire a professional landscaper near you when you’re ready to invest in your home and turn your blank canvas lawn into your dream landscape.
Main Photo Credit: Quique / Pixabay