Tips For Landscaping A Small Front Yard

Small front yards present unique challenges for landscaping. You don't want to go overboard and make it look messy, but you also don't want to make it too plain and unappealing. Choosing just the right design to fit your personality and lifestyle is essential.

Show Your Personality

Your front yard is like a calling card, so let your personality shine through your landscape design. If you are outgoing, a small table and chairs, a bench or rockers on the front porch shows that you welcome guests. Pineapples are also a sign of welcome, so display them if you love visitors. If you are more reclusive, make the design more restrictive without being repellant, such as having the entire front yard surrounded by a picket fence with no sitting areas, even on the front porch. If your personality is serene, a zen garden or fish pond with an observation bench creates a soothing atmosphere.

Use Bold Colors

To get your small space noticed, use bold colors and designs, such as baskets of red geraniums hung on the porch or a border of bright yellow marigolds. Plant large clumps of spring-flowering bulbs that burst forth with a splash of color early in the year. Choose colors that complement each other, such as purple and yellow or red and blue. A stark white area can also be very eye-catching, as can a large areas of multi-colored wildflowers. In the summer, use bright sun and shade coleus with large-leaf caladiums to keep your yard looking bright even in the heat.

Stay Away From Large Plants

Unless you need a large tree to shade one side of the house, stick to small-to-medium sized trees and shrubs that won't overwhelm your landscape. If there is already a large tree there, draw attention away from its size by planting colorful  flowers around the base to draw the eye down. Research the mature size of a shrub before you plant it, or you could end up with a monster in a few years. An example of this would be a tropical hibiscus, which can grow up to 8 feet in a year and overwhelm your landscape.

Forget the Grass

In very small front yards, you can have lawn, but it's fine not to. Instead, try defined beds with stone or gravel pathways. If you don't really want people walking in your front yard, using ground covers makes the walking area part of the gardens and directs visitors to established sidewalks and paved paths. You can also make the entire front yard into a naturalized butterfly garden or multi-season bulb bed with decorative grasses instead of turf.

Whichever front yard design appeals to you, be sure it is something that you can live with for a long time. Contact your local landscaping company for specific ideas that will suit you with plants that grow well in your area.