Your home is your castle, and it goes without saying that you want it to be as aesthetically pleasing and impressive as possible. You want to feel a sense of pride when you pull up to your house or when people walk past it, and one of the best ways to do all of these things, the best way to do that is with the landscaping.
While landscaping is comprised of several different elements, in the front yard, arguably the most important landscaping feature is the garden. Front gardens add color and texture to your landscape, creating instant visual appeal. Approaching a house with a well-maintained front garden is sure to bring a smile to your face.
Not only does a front garden add value to your personal property, but it also adds value to your entire street. Vibrant flowers and plants breathe life into gray streets, they provide habitats for wildlife, and they can even preserve rainwater and combat pollution. Planning, planting, and maintaining a front garden serves as a wonderful pastime, too.
Whether you’ve recently moved into your house or you want to revamp the exterior of your existing home, you might be thinking about planting a front garden. But where do you start? Sure, you could just grab a collection of annuals, perennials, and shrubs, and set them into the soil at random; however, this approach probably isn’t going to yield the ideal results. If you really want your landscape to look its best and you want to enjoy all of the benefits that a front garden provides, you need to take the time to plan out your front garden.
How do you get started? To help you make the most of your front garden, below, we’ve compiled a list of design idea recommendations.
The Benefits of a Front Garden
Before we dive in and share our top picks for front garden design ideas, we feel like first, it’s important to explore the benefits of planting a front garden in the first place. We briefly touched on the benefits above, but let’s take a closer look. Why? Well, when you know the benefits of something, you’re more apt to invest more time and energy into it so that you can take full advantage of those benefits.
A front garden offers so many benefits, some of the most notable of which include the following:
- Improved curb appeal. Improved curb appeal is the most obvious benefit that a front garden provides. It goes without saying that you want your home to look as visually pleasing as possible, and folks will formulate their first impression of your house based on the curb appeal. A front garden impresses passersby as they stroll or drive past your house, and greets guests with a warm welcome when they approach your home.
- Increased property value. Your home is your biggest financial investment. Like most people, it’s probably the most expensive purchase you’ll ever make. That said, you want its monetary value to be as healthy as possible. Curb appeal has a huge impact on your home’s property value, and a thoughtfully designed, carefully planted, and well-maintained front garden will most certainly give your property value a boost.
- Creates wildlife habitats. A front garden will provide a welcoming habitat for wildlife. All types of creatures will be attract to and take refuge in your garden; birds, butterflies, bees, and other critters and insects will take refuge in your front garden. This is especially true if you live in an urban area where wildlife habitat isn’t as abundant. You’ll feel good knowing that friends from nature will have a place to call home.
- Provides a pastime. A front garden creates a wonderful pastime; this is particularly true if you’re a plant lover, but it’s true even if you are indifferent to plantings, because when you see the impact it will have on your home’s curb appeal, you’ll be sure to develop a fondness for flowers and shrubbery. Designing, planting, and maintaining a garden will provide so much enjoyment. You’ll find yourself longing to get outside and enjoy it as much as possible.
- Promotes good health. Designing, planting, and maintaining a garden isn’t just a fun way to pass the time; it’s also a healthy activity to partake in. Numerous studies have found that gardening provides a wealth of health benefits. Being outside, surrounded by nature, soaking up the sun, and breathing in the fresh air does wonders for your physical and mental health. Getting your hands in the soil grounds and connects you to the earth, which offers a long list of benefits. Being outdoors and away from all the gadgets, gizmos, and electro-magnetic frequencies that we’re exposed to on a constant basis will do wonders for your physical and mental health, too. You’ll undeniably notice that you’ll feel happier, less anxious, and less depressed when you’re tending to your garden.
- Instills a sense of pride. Last but certainly not least, a front garden will instill a sense of pride. A smile is guaranteed to spread across your face when you approach your home and are greeted by a colorful, cheery garden. Additionally, knowing that your garden is increasing your property, seeing the creatures and critters that have taken up residence in the space, and tending to your garden are all things that will surely make you feel proud.
Designing a Front Garden
Creating an aesthetically pleasing, functional front garden that will thrive requires careful thought and consideration. Below are some tips that you can use to successfully design a garden for the front of your home.
- Choose an appropriate location. While you don’t need an expansive space, as small gardens can be just as beautiful as large ones; however, you do want to make sure that the location you choose offers enough space for the plants to take root and grow. You also want the flowers and shrubs that you will be planting to have enough room to thrive; if they’re overcrowded, they’ll have to compete for sunshine and air, as well as water and nutrients from the soil, and thus, your garden won’t be able to thrive.
- Consider how the garden will look, not only from the outside, but from the inside, too. Remember that you’ll be able to see your garden from the inside of your house, too, so take the time to think about what you would like to see when you look out of your front windows.
- When choosing plantings, consider the conditions of the location where you will be planting your garden. For instance, if the space is flooded with bright sunlight for the majority of the day, you’ll want to choose plants that thrive in these types of conditions, and if it’s a shady area, you should select plants that don’t need a lot of sunlight. You should also consider watering needs; for instance, if irrigation will be an issue, you’ll want to use plants that don’t need to be watered frequently.
- Consider access to your front door. If the garden will be situated directly in the front of your home, you want to be sure that the plantings won’t impede access to your home. Remember that flowers and shrubs will continue to grow, so consider how large the plants will get when they reach full maturity when you’re selecting and placing them.
- Avoid placing gardening materials, such as soil and mulch, right up against your house. Not only can doing so cause issues with dampness, but they can also welcome pests, such as termites and other wood-boring insects, which could make their way into and damage your home’s building materials.
Simple, Yet Impactful Front Garden Design Ideas
Now let’s get down to it and take a look at some front garden design ideas. Here are some simple design ideas that will be sure to make a major impact on the look and feel of the curb appeal of your home’s curb appeal.
Create Texture and Shape with Shrubs
Color is the first thing that most people think of when they envision a garden, and while color is certainly a primary element, it isn’t the only component of a garden; texture and shape are, too. Shrubs are an excellent way to add texture and shape to your front garden. They lend structural interest, and they can create boundaries, and can even provide privacy. There are so many wonderful shrubs that can be incorporated into a front garden, and the following are just a few examples:
- Rose of Sharon
- Blue star juniper
- Mountain Laurel
- Butterfly bush
Design a wildflower meadow
If a primary goal of your front garden is to create a habitat for wildlife, a wildflower meadow is a wonderful idea. Critters of all shapes, sizes, and species are naturally attracted to wildflowers, and the plants will lend a carefree, yet captivating look. Plus, a wildflowers are easy and inexpensive to plant and maintain. All you have to do is prepare the soil by turning it and amending it with organic matter, scatter some wildflower seeds into the soil, loosely cover the seeds with soil, water, and before long, beautiful wildflowers will begin to emerge – and soon after, wildlife will emerge, too.
Use climbing plants
Climbing plants are a simple and impactful way to make your front garden pop. Install trellis or lattice work, and in front of the structures, plant climbers. There are so many different types of climbing plants, including evergreens and varieties that burst into colorful blooms. The following are just some examples of climbers that you may want to consider:
- Climbing roses
- Climbing hydrangea
- Rambling roses
- Dutchman’s pipe
- Hop vine
- Sweet peas
- English ivy
- Boston ivy
- Virginia creeper
Use potted plants
Potted plants are perfect addition to a front garden. Whether you use them to accompany in-the-ground plants, or you create a garden that’s strictly potted plants, they work very well for this space. Why? Well, because you can easily move them to change their position and bring them indoors, if needed. You can also easily change the plants out, if you’d like. There are so many wonderful potted plants that you could incorporate into your front garden, and the following are great examples to consider:
- New Guinea impatiens
- Million bells
- Foxtail fern
- Ornamental pepper
In addition to potted plants placed on the ground, hanging baskets are also a welcomed addition to a front garden. Just like potted plants, you can easily move hanging baskets, and because they are situated off the ground, they eye is instantly drawn to them. You can hang potted plants from overhangs, eaves, posts, hooks installed on either side of your front door, and even from underneath your outdoor lights and lampposts. Again, there are lots of different types of plants that would work wonderfully well in hanging baskets. Examples of some excellent options to consider include the following:
Give raised beds a try
Another excellent option for a front garden are raised flower beds. They’re easy to install and inexpensive to maintain. You can fill them with just about any type of plant that you can think of, including annual and perennial flowers, of course, and even fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Raised flower beds are great for areas that are short on space, or where the natural soil is less-than-ideal.
Install window boxes
If you’re really short on space and don’t have anywhere to plant a garden in the ground, or if you’d like to accent your garden, window boxes are a wonderful addition to a front garden. They will add instant charm to the structural appeal of your house, and you’ll be able to easily view the plants from inside. You can either purchase pre-made window boxes, or if you’re the handy type – or you know someone who is – you can have them custom built.