Landscaping a large front yard can be a specific challenge. Unlike a backyard, the front area is not often used for living and playing. Instead, it’s there to make a good first impression. But when there’s a lot of space, it can seem like the yard is going to waste.
An effective landscape design puts the focus of the property on the entrance, meaning that all landscape elements and placements should help direct the eye to the door and to the most beautiful parts of the house.
In a large, unbroken space, you need to create a design that will highlight the appeal of your exterior, while also including an element of usability. Here are some simple guidelines to help you solve your front yard dilemma.
The first thing you should consider with a large yard is whether or not you can make the front yard more functional for your lifestyle. Caring for a large front space for only curb appeal can start to wear on you. So, you might consider extending your front porch. You could also add a separate element, like a gazebo, off to one side of the yard to fill up some of the yard space.
These simple structure additions add some usability to the yard space. For example, a porch that extends to a breezeway with a connecting gazebo can serve as an outdoor entertaining space for adults while children enjoy the backyard with a pool or swing set.
Extend the Entrance
Sometimes the garage becomes the focal point of the front yard because the driveway leads to the garage doors. It takes some clever design to downplay the garage in favor of your front entryway. One of the advantages of having a large front yard is that you can extend the entrance out with landscaping elements.
For example, you can set up a large arbor over the front walk to immediately direct people to the front door that lies beyond it. Depending on the style of your home, a small, fenced front garden can take away from the garage and accentuate the spot where you’re growing flowers and herbs.
You can also extend an entrance by making entry paths wider and louder. Instead of choosing a subtle concrete block, make it a stamped design or use landscape paving bricks to make a herringbone design. The color will pull someone toward the door more effectively.
Choose the Right Trees
Trees are absolutely essential for a front yard because the space will look impressively dull without them. However, the wrong kind of trees will hide the house, completely ruining the goal of clever front landscaping. You want a tree to draw the eye and convince someone to look beyond it.
Steer clear of conifer trees because they create a barrier of branches and needles as they grow. Instead, opt for trees that have interesting bark patterns. The unique coloration or pattern of bark looks beautiful during the winter.
If you’re looking for trees with interesting-looking bark, clump birch trees can sometimes be a good choice for a large yard, as long as you have a shady exposure. Weeping willows can also add an appeal to your yard during the winter.
You should also choose trees that will not grow so tall and long that they overshadow your home. Flowering crabapple trees, hawthorns, Schubert chokecherry trees, Mayday trees and even some types of lilacs can be the right size.
All of these trees have interesting flowers, berries or fruits that make every season beautiful. For example, the Schubert has bright green foliage in spring, but the leaves turn deep red by summertime, allowing the tree to stand out against the color of an emerald lawn.
Hide the Grass
A beautiful lawn is the canvas of a successful landscape design, but too much canvas makes a painting bland. If you do have wide stretches of lawn, try to hide it by adding hedges along walkways or shrub beds near the sidewalk.
When a person is looking at the property, the line of shrubs is in the foreground, taking up more visual space than the grass behind it. The shrubs build the picture of the house, allowing the grass to be a mere foundation for the rest of the landscape design.
Don’t Overlook the Power of Small Things
Finally, after the trees, shrubs, structures and walkways are installed, the devil is in the details. A line of lights leading along the path to the door can show off the shrubs and path design. Some simple flower boxes under the windows could add a pop of color. These small elements provide the finesse that ties all the big things together.
For more information on choosing the right size tree for your large front yard, contact Smitty’s Tree Service Inc.