|Landscaping the property need not involve a major overhaul of the natural elements. Sometimes simple additions or deletions can make a strong impact on the overall appeal of the landscape or garden. Working to install an appealing front yard garden and landscape will provide your home with a great first impression and may even add value to your property. The following article discusses several relatively simple landscaping techniques that will makeover the front yard with stunning results.
Even the most barren landscapes can benefit from a few minor modifications to the front yard. From the porch to the path, the lawn to the shrubs there are many features that can be installed by the homeowner. The front yard path or walkway is often a good place to begin a makeover because it is an essential element of the property; one has to be able to travel from the street to the front door. Installing a new pathway can be accomplished in various ways. A flagstone path is simple and provides a rustic appeal that is perfect for small bungalow or cottage style homes. It is a project that can easily be accomplished over a weekend and it allows the gardener to select stones and lay them out in a pattern pleasing to them.
Of course there are more formal pavements and walkways that could be installed by a flagstone path is a charming way to makeover the path from the curb to the front door. Working with stone is nice because there is a variety of rock and stone available so your path can truly be a one-of-a-kind. If your current path is broken up and in need of major repairs, a simple solution would be to dig it up and lay a layer of mulch until you can find a more permanent fix.
Many front yard gardens suffer from a flat expanse relieved only by a tree or two. Creating a multidimensional look complete with variations in size can transform a boring front yard into something quite eye-catching. Layering your garden features adds variation to the look of things. For ranch style homes on flat property, consider adding a few ornamental trees, shrubs and flowerbeds. Also, rather than a traditional lawn which only adds to the flat look of things, consider a few different varieties of ornamental grasses—tall sedges and low-to-the-ground plants like creeping phlox make a dramatic statement that is not only original but requires less maintenance than a traditional lawn.
A flat space can also be enhanced by building steps and retaining walls to accomplish a layered look. Raised flowerbeds with taller plantings will add enough height to keep the yard from looking too flat. Again, doing away with the traditional lawn and adding prairie plants makes for an excellent alternative and a great way to incorporate variety onto the site.
Fencing is a great front yard attribute that can add to the property’s style. Even by adding just a few sections can have a pleasing effect especially if the fence doubles as a support for climbing plants and vines. The simplest wooden picket fences can be further transformed by what you plant in front of them; consider a row of English lavender or hollyhocks to add quaint charm to the front of your home. Or, go in a completely different direction and add simple bamboo fencing for an Oriental look. Sometimes fencing is needed to completely enclose the front yard where pets are concerned. In such cases, plantings in front of your fence make a big difference, but adding shrubs that peek over the fence can also be a pleasing simple makeover feature.
Adding a new porch is a great way to transform your space, but a less expensive alternative might be to add new railings, paint the steps, add a mosaic design, etc…Sometimes incorporating built-in containers can spruce up a porch. Enlarging a porch could be accomplished by adding an additional structure located just off the porch like a small pergola, arch or even a gazebo. Many of these structures can even be obtained in kit form so their expense is far less than in decades past.
Hilly terrain is a perfect spot for adding rock gardens and possibly even adding a simple cascade. Sloped gardens thrive when terraces are installed and these multilevel planting beds or tiers can be planted with a variety of species that do quite well in the microclimate that a slope sets up. Adding water, rock and plantings will transform the entire expanse of your front yard and these features, more than ever, can be installed by the gardeners themselves.
Simple methods to add appeal to your front yard include pruning existing plantings; consider bonsai or pleached features. Also, add window boxes, small features like statuettes, bird baths, etc…Even a trellis covered by healthy plantings will go far to making over a bland or barren setting. Visit your local garden center or check online for more simple landscaping techniques to makeover your front yard in a way reflective of your home’s style.