That all important first impression

Your front yard landscaping is an important feature of your home. It’s the first thing that a visitor will see, and they’ll make a judgment call on the rest of your property based on that front yard curb appeal.


Use your front yard landscaping to give a good first impression.

A front yard landscape doesn’t have to be complicated – in fact it’s best if you keep it simple.

Many subdivisions have ‘covenants’ or rules and restrictions which govern the type and height of your landscaping plants, so if you’re just starting out, this is something to check before undertaking any front yard landscaping.


Keeping it simple is harder than it looks – just ask any horticulturist or garden designer.

Many homeowners want one of everything, creating a mish mash of styles with no cohesion.

Instead of using many different textures in your front yard landscaping, find two or three similar ones that can be re-emphasized in several different areas.

I usually stay away from those ‘popular’ kinds of shrubs and trees with variegated foliage, double blooms, or too many garish colours. Using several similar shrubs, perennials and trees in a group has more impact than a polka dot arrangement of many different types of plants.

Succulents are a great choice for the lowest maintenance; hardy Sempervivum and Sedum are tough and reliable, and beautiful.

Each group of plants should be carefully placed – not only taking into consideration each ones ultimate size and height, but the space available beside buildings and walkways.


Leaving lots of room for spreading now will avoid the inevitable butchery when junipers try and spread into the path, or cedars grow up in front of the living room window.

Know your plants – do your due diligence now, and avoid heartache later.

If it seems that your young plantings are a bit sparse, use faster growing perennials or annuals to fill in the gaps. These can be more easily moved than a shrub or tree when the time comes.

Front yard landscaping is an art – one that many homeowners don’t appreciate until much later.

Your front yard curb appeal can be the selling feature of a home, and an established well designed and planted landscape is known to be one of the most valuable assets as it will return between 60 and 80% of your original investment.

Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

Instead of making the driveway the most important feature of your front yard landscaping, make the walkway to the front door equally as appealing.

A curving paving stone path wide enough for two to walk comfortably along between plantings of low perennials, succulents or shrubs, and wide shallow steps to the front door, with a landing to stand on is essential.

Screening the front door with large overhanging shrubs or vines is not advised by security experts.

Keep the windows clear so light and air can get to the dwelling and prevent any dampness issues.

A trellis or pergola works well to give a sheltered feeling near the door without contributing to a claustrophic atmosphere.

Visit other gardens; train your eye to pick up good front yard landscaping ideas, and not so good ones. Front yard landscape pictures can be found in many magazines, so don’t be afraid to glean your ideas from these.