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Front Yard Landscaping

Front yard landscaping frames your home like a snapshot. A beautiful and well-planned landscape creates curb appeal that ultimately increases the value of your property.

You should first consider accessibility and invitation. Since the front yard is the first thing people see when they visit, it should be welcoming and easily accessible. Start your plan by laying out a walkway and then create your landscape design around that.

While straight walkways are more formal, curved walkways add more interest and soften the overall design. Cobblestone, brick, and granite are excellent choices for front walkways; they’re more inviting than ordinary cement and add more natural curb appeal. Front walkways should be no less than four feet wide.

Choose a theme that complements your home’s style. If you live in an English Tudor, for example, a complementary theme might include roses climbing over an arbor that serves as the property’s entrance, Virginia creeper adorning your garage walls, a winding cobblestone walkway that leads to your front door, and plants like lavender, foxgloves, sweet peas and Lady’s mantle.

Design Principles


Consistency and repetition create a sense of unity. Repeating similar elements by using the same kind of plants or plant groups in various locations creates a feeling of wholeness. Each area of the landscape will relate to the others in harmony. When you look at a Monet, you will see how this theory of repeating key elements is applied. Keep it simple by choosing two or three colors and then repeat them throughout the landscape.


Color is divided into four categories:

  • Primary: reds, yellows and blues
  • Secondary: greens, violets (purples) and oranges
  • Tertiary: mixtures of the primary and secondary categories
  • Neutral: whites, grays and silvers

The colors you choose will influence the mood of your yard. Blues are soothing and tranquil, while warmer colors add stimulation to your landscape. You can use similar colors, like reds and oranges or purples and blues, to achieve unity or mix warm and cool colors to add contrast. Consider the style and paint color of your home and use a complementary color scheme.

You can also use colors to visually alter distance. If you want your house to appear closer to the street, use warm colors close to your home’s foundation. If you want your home to appear farther away, use cool colors.


Form refers to the shape of your plants, such as oval, columnar, spreading, broad spreading, upright or weeping. Form is the shape and structure of a plant or mass of plants. Structures also have form, which need to be considered as you’re designing the area around them.


Line refers to the arrangement of plants and their borders. Line is related to eye movement or flow. Curvy or free-flowing lines are gentle and graceful and create a relaxing, natural feeling. The human eye is unconsciously influenced by the way plant groupings fit and flow together.


Scale is simply the size of an object or objects in relation to surrounding plants or structures.


Texture is the surface quality of an object that can be seen or touched. Surfaces in your garden can include sheds, paths, decks, arbors and plants. The texture of plants differ between leaves, twigs and branches from coarse, medium or fine to smooth, rough, dull or glossy.

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