3 Keys to Front Yard Landscaping

Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Kyle Whitley

keys to front yard landscaping with landscape front entry way to home

Keys to create an inviting front-yard landscape

The first thing you notice when entering your home is the entrance. It’s a place where people can see and feel welcome, but it also needs to be welcoming in its own right. The best way to achieve this is by creating a beautiful entryway that makes visitors want to come inside. Here are keys to front yard landscaping and some tips on creating a great front yard landscape.

There should be a clear entryway.

The path leading to the front of your home should be clear. The front door should be visible from the street or driveway if the bushes and trees are trimmed back sufficiently.

People should be able to comfortably walk side by side on the sidewalks. A variety of materials can be used to create interest on the sidewalk.

For instance, you could line your driveway or sidewalk with concrete pavers or stone to give the driveway or sidewalk a more upscale look.

If you have a porch, you should be able to easily access the stairs or entryway to the porch.  Any plants added to the porch should emphasize the home entryway.

It’s best to light up the night.

After the sun sets, outdoor lighting keeps your home visible. House numbers, flagpoles, statues, or other design features can be highlighted by spotlight lighting in the front of the house.

In order to keep guests safe and comfortable after dark paths and sidewalks, you should have small solar lights or low voltage lights installed on them.  This will allow your visitors to feel more comfortable when using the paths or sidewalks in the dark.

For example, I use small solar led lights to light the sidewalk from my driveway to my front to door to “A” keep folks off my lawn and “B” to keep them from walking into my landscaped beds in front of my home and porch. The lights also serve as a guide to the front door, ensuring that the visitors are going to the correct entrance.

You need to balance your home with the landscape

Balance is important, but strategic landscaping can balance out a home’s negative features. Plants can help draw the eye up if a house is short or squat. Tall trees around the property’s perimeter can help balance the height of a tall and narrow house. The illusion of width can be created by thick shrubs near the corners of the home.

Beautiful Home Exterior front door with stone sidewalk and landscaping

Creating Curb Appeal for your Front Yard

Everyone wants their home to look good, especially from the street or curb where most passerby’s and visitors first see your home.  Here are a few tips to help you create step up your front yard landscaping game.

Conceal What You Don’t Want Others to See

Most homes have something you don’t want people to see from the street.  It could be a cable or telecom box or maybe your HVAC unit on the side of your home.

Medium to finely textured evergreens are examples of plants and shrubs that don’t call attention to themselves that can be planted next to items you want to hide.

From the street, you can see the side of my home, so I planted small evergreen shrubs to block visitors from seeing my HVAC, power meter box, and gas meter.  Looking from the street, you would never know they were there because the evergreen shrubs block the view.

Front Door Focal Point

Curb appeal that draws your attention to the front door and the overall exterior beauty of your home is something you want to create. Reconsidering the trees and shrubbery next to your house is a way to do this. Plants should be kept lower than the window casement or sell. They may have to be trimmed down.

The lower limbs of your shade trees might need to be removed if they’re tall. If you have shrubs or trees that need constant trimming, it will be hard for you to reveal windows and the most attractive architectural features. If you’ve planted wisely, your shrubs should grow to their proper height, don’t need much pruning, and do not hide key features.

On a personal note, I made the mistake of planting bushes that need to be constantly trimmed in front of my home.  While I have the cordless hedge trimmers to get the job done, it is a real pain to have to trim them several times a year to keep them under control.

Adding color with seasonal flowers near the front door is a great way to make your focal point more noticeable. Another strong visual element is created by the large, sweeping curves of the sidewalks or paths that lead to the front of your home.

Adding a fountain water feature or welcoming patio or porch area near the front door is what some homeowners add to emphasize the front of the home.

Keep it Simple

It’s a good idea to get rid of unneeded stuff in your yard and beds. It is only going to create a distraction if you have too many different types of plants.

You want to keep the main attraction of the home, not the wide variety of plants in the front landscaped beds.  Also, if you have a tree or shrub you want to highlight, like a Japanese Maple or cherry tree, you don’t want the other plants distracting from the “focal point” plant.

Creating curb appeal is pretty easy when you follow the steps above.

keys to landscaping and landscaped flower garden

6 Simple Landscape Ideas for your Front Yard

We compiled a list of a few quick and easy landscape ideas that will spruce up your front yard.  These ideas are pretty simple and quick and could easily be completed DIY style over a weekend.

Add Rocks

Adding rocks or stones creates a natural accent. Front yard landscaping ideas with rocks can serve an important function, like making a rock spillway for your rain gutter that will keep an area from getting too muddy.

Add Low Voltage or Solar Lighting

Outdoor landscape lighting is generally inexpensive, and using solar lighting can make this even more convenient. You can choose the color of the lights you want to use, stick them in the ground along your walkway or beside a flowerbed, and let them light up your front yard at night.

You can upgrade to features like lanterns, lighting that goes into a walkway, and even faux rocks with integrated lights.

Change Bed Borders

A simple change in a landscape bed border can make all the difference in the world.  Adding pavers, pre-cast blocks, or natural stones are all good examples depending on your home’s style.

The addition of a new bed border can change the entire look of the plants already in the bed.

Plant Ground Cover

Planting groundcover is a great way to hide areas where your lawn simply won’t grow.  Often shade or slopes make it unpractical to create a landscape bed or grow a lawn.

A ground cover that is easily maintained and won’t spread evasively will help cover up those bare areas in your front landscape.

Plant Perennial Shrubs

Adding some flowering perennial shrubs to your front landscape will add color and beauty to your front landscape year after year.  I am in the Southern United States, and Azaleas are a prime example of a perennial shrub that is great for your front landscape that adds great curb appeal.

I personally have several varieties of Azaleas which create year-round interest with color and beauty from the spring all the way up till late fall.

Refresh Mulch

Adding a fresh layer of mulch to your front landscape beds will help revitalize the look of your front yard.  Mulch should be refreshed or replaced yearly, sometimes twice a year.

Popular bagged mulches or shredded bark, or nuggets are easily purchased at your local home center.  Pine straw, another popular mulch, can be purchased at the home center in bales as well.


Keys to Front Yard Landscaping: What to keep in mind

To make your front landscape look good all year long, consider a few of the key yard landscaping ideas we have mentioned previously.  Focus on the front door or entryway to your home, add lighting as needed to accent the focal point, and add balance to your landscaping to ensure the landscaping doesn’t overshadow the home.  If you follow these few key steps, you will certainly have a front yard that is the envy of your neighborhood.