Front yards can be masterpieces or simple based on their size, but they should always be inviting.
As a young man I went through the early stages of just “wanting to get the lawn mowed.” However, as I have gotten older I have taken more of an interest in landscaping.
We have a reasonably small front yard. As you look at the house there is a concrete driveway. The front yard used to “roll” down to the drive as well as to the front sidewalk.
To the left side of the house, the yard just continued around the house and was in the shade due to our neighbor’s giant tree.
Our house is white, as is the neighbors’, so it really didn’t stand out. I didn’t really know how to do things I wanted, but my best friend did know about landscaping so he helped me with the planning.
First I wanted a pretty path/walk rather than just cutting across the lawn. So we got some blocks that were one square foot each in three very closely related earth-tone browns. We needed about one-hundred of them so the cost was one-hundred dollars. Here’s a hint: if you are working on a project where you will be spending a little money, talk to a greenhouse or home improvement store and they may give you a break on cost – especially if they are privately owned.
The path comes up from the drive. On three sides of the yard we put railroad ties. It took three in each location, but it gave the appearance of a “raised” yard and also gave definition to it. Further, the railroad ties matched the walk which now came up from the drive between the walk and the house.
We had a barren and dead small tree near the front steps; we removed it.
On the side of the house near the front where it was shady we planted impatiens, a flower that does very well in the shade, is easy to care for and comes in many bright colors. It added some flourish to our white house.
We highlighted this by putting down wood chips over plastic and then placing a medium stone over that. Further, we planted some more impatiens which “matched” the side of the house. This was done in the front yard near the street and we had our address stenciled in white on the brownish stone.
We had three bushes on the front of the house at the front porch but all three were on one side. While the left side of the house (as you look at it) is longer than the right, it still looked unbalanced so we added one bush on the right and around all the bushes we placed wood chips at the base.
All this even with ongoing maintenance has been accomplished for about $750.00.
The last thing that I have done is to use a fertilizer-based supplement for our lawn. This has kept it full, has limited bugs and gives it a bright green color.
The extra value of all these changes is that it has made our white house stand out. Oh, and it has been fun.