We’ll start by answering that question right off the bat. Here’s the true secret to landscaping: there is no secret. How you want to landscape your home is completely up to you. There is no best way to landscape in front of a home. People have varying tastes when it comes to how they want the front of their home to look like. Having said that, while there is no one style or one way that works best, there are some key things about homes that you should take note of.
Whether you end up with a summer of DIY front yard landscaping or you get it done by professionals instead, knowing more about important factors, tips and maybe some great landscaping ideas can help assure that your project turns into an absolute success. Let’s get into it.
Bigger is easier
It may not seem like it, but buying big planting beds is often a great bet. One should plan to buy planting beds that are big enough to fit the mix of plants that you want on your garden. Experts say that your best bet is to buy planting beds that are at least half as big as the width of your house. It might seem like a daunting purchase, but more often than not this is a good scale to follow. This is because the sweeping beds are also meant to be huge, ideally stretching from the sidewalk to your home itself. This scale works very well when it’s compared to the size of the house. This is especially for the people who want their landscape to be low maintenance. Just plant a tree that can anchor the landscape, fill the plant beds with shrubs, and you can have an easy but beautiful front yard.
Your focal point is the door
While not all landscape designers adhere to this rule, it’s a great one to keep in mind when you’re just starting out. Like Pablo Picasso once said, “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” Leaving space for a walkway is a great start so your line of sight leads you to the door immediately. Making this walkway as wide as possible would also help frame the door quite nicely. You could get a little creative and make the way wind a bit, but just make sure that the door is always easy to see from the sidewalk.
Consider the seasons
One of the most important things to keep in mind about landscaping is the changing of the seasons. You may be able to disregard this if you live in parts of the world that don’t experience four seasons, however the readers that do might want to take a closer look. You may be thinking about all these gorgeous flowers and shrubs in full bloom and how you definitely want them in your garden. However, you should also note the seasons when they aren’t so pretty. Worse, consider if they’ll survive these seasons at all. The months from November to February may be quiet garden months, but visitors will be knocking on your door regardless.
Shrubs and evergreen trees can still make your home look gorgeous as ever in the middle of winter. These are plants that can add texture and form to your landscape at any given time of the year. You can even get dwarf trees if you don’t want anything too big but want something that can stand the cold. It’s easier to get those these days as plant breeders are constantly making developing new species of plants. One could also look into species of trees and shrubs that make food for different types of animals even in the winter. It’s a great way to unleash your creativity when you consider the seasons as a factor when planning.
Thinking about cohesiveness and growth
One big thing about planning your landscape design is not going too crazy with the plants. Sure these plants may all look gorgeous individually, but your landscape is still going to look like a mess if the entire look doesn’t flow. You could have a reflective design that centers on the pathway leading to the door. You could also layer the plants, alternating types plant species as you go along and making a pattern.
One also needs to keep in mind how these plants can grow. Like how you would plan for how vines will grow and crawl up a wall, you should know the nature of the growth of the plants you want to include. This is another opportunity for you to get more creative as you research different types of plants and figure out the types of shapes and textures they could make.
Establish a look by minimizing
At the end of the day, you want a look that can both frame and uplift the look of your house. This specific look can only be achieved if you make hard decisions and prioritize species of plants that you want to include. Too many plant species would make your landscape look like a mess, so be firm in what you want in your landscape. There are good basic limits to use when landscaping. When it comes to perennials, no more than five to ten species should be enough. Shurbs should have even less, keeping it to three to five kinds. Types of trees should not increase more than two.
This is an especially important rule to keep in mind, especially when you go shopping for new plants. Again, you want one cohesive garden and not many confusing small ones.
Keep to these notes and you should be on your way to landscaping the perfect front yard in no time. Whether you do it over the summer or make this a long term project, these are the basics that will always guide you towards a beautiful outcome.