Front yard landscaping should be done in such a way that it merges the man-made house with natural elements easily and softens the overall look. Front yard landscape should be an inviting place which directs the visitor to the house easily.
Certain principles should be taken into consideration when you are creating your front yard landscape design.
Given below are some landscaping plans and pictures of front yard landscape that will give you ideas to which will help in creating your front yard landscape.
The Layout Plan
There are two types of layout designs, the symmetrical design and the asymmetrical design. No matter which pattern you choose, it is important that you balance out all the elements of the landscape, and importantly create a feeling of unity within the elements.
Symmetrical designs mean having a mirror like division of the front yard and house. Symmetrical designs are suitable for houses which have a central driveway, a door in the center of the house, and equal number of windows on either side of the door. For such houses, a symmetrical landscape design works well. In a symmetrical design, plant the elements in the yard like trees and shrubs in almost an equal number to give a balanced look. Though, symmetrical landscape design can be a bit difficult to achieve, they complement nicely with houses which have symmetrical design and a formal look.
On the other hand asymmetrical designs give a more relaxed look and are easier to create and plan. However, it is important that you balance out the asymmetrical landscaping plans in front of the house properly. Also, arrange all the elements in such a way that everything gives a feeling of unity. An example of asymmetrical landscape design would be having the location of the sidewalk somewhere towards the left side of the house. To balance out this house, plant the shrubs and bushes in front of the house, on either side of the sidewalk and trees at the edges of the house. You can see images in the above picture gallery which show landscaping done using the asymmetrical pattern. This was about planning the basic layout, which lays down the foundation of the softscape and hardscape elements.
Adding Softscape Elements
The softscape materials or elements used in front yard landscaping are the plants such as, the trees, shrubs, flowering plants, the lawn, etc.
Choosing Trees & Shrubs
After deciding your layout, you need to make a wise choice of the trees and shrubs which you want to plant in your front yard. Make sure you go with the trees and shrubs which are a mix of two seasons, so that they help to accentuate the yard in both summer and winter season. Another important point when choosing the shrubs and trees is making sure that trees and shrubs together are compatible. It is better to go for native plants, as they have already adapted to the soil, water and weather.
Planting Trees & Shrubs
The right placement of the shrubs and the trees is very important, so keep in mind these front yard landscaping ideas. Never plant trees right in front of the house, and avoid planting the shrubs too close to the sidewalk or driveway. Shrubs should be planted on either side of the driveway, and should be placed in an odd-numbered group of 3 or 5. While planting trees, consider the size and space that a full-grown tree will take and have enough space around it. Plant the trees at the edges of the house, to soften the pointed edges of the roof. You can plant some trees at the front, near the edges of the house, and few at the back, which will blend the man-made house nicely in the front yard and backdrop.
Adding Flowering Plants
To add flowers to the yard, make sure you just go for a few number of plants like 2 - 3 flowers of contrasting colors, and avoid a riot of colors. Too many accents should be avoided, as it will spoil the look. You can see in the first image of the scroll, the yard has very few flowering plants, but still the house and the yard looks good and inviting. Even without adding any flower plants, you can create a good-looking front yard landscape. For ground cover, you can either go for a lawn, or spread plants evenly which have a maximum growth of around one foot. The choice of hedges is up to you, depending on whether you want a screen and boundary around your house. Make sure you select the hedge type wisely, and plant it around 15 - 20 feet away from the street.
Adding Hardscape Elements
The hardscape materials or structural materials are the fences, walls, paving, etc.
Driveway & Sidewalks
Make sure you have a driveway which is around 10 feet wide, but if your driveway also serves as the road leading to your front door, then make it wider. This will make walking on the driveway easy in case a car is parked on the driveway, and prevent stepping on the lawn. To make a wide driveway look more attractive, you can pave the road with some stones. Also, planting flowering plants or small palm trees on both sides of the driveway can make it look even more appealing. There are various choice of materials for the sidewalks. You can go for a brick wall which is the most attractive material, or go for stone, wood or concrete material.
Fences, Water Fountains & Ponds
Many people also go for metal fences, but most prefer the traditional wooden picket fences. If you have a bigger budget, and good amount of space then you can consider going for a secluded courtyard design, or accent your yard by having a water fountain or a garden pond. A small garden pond can be created yourself or by hiring professionals. A birdbath is also a good idea in case you can't have a fountain or pond.
These were some guidelines which will serve to create the front yard landscaping according to the individual's choice of house design. So, make sure you keep in mind all the important points, and design a front yard landscape which looks good and is inviting.