Front yard: Design ideas, inspiration & pictures

“First impressions last”. In all aspects of our everyday lifestyle and whatever is apparent in the public eye, this famous line applies to all. The same line highly applies to houses and residences. Every homeowner has this vision of creating the perfect house from front to back. Neighbors, family, and friends will adore visiting your humble home when they feel a peaceful yet vivid ambiance right when they enter your walkway. What better way to make a big statement than making a great impression of your front yard? After all, the front yard is the first point of showing what kind of home you have inside.

Creating the perfect front yard might be a challenge, that’s why we’re here to give you tips on how to go above and beyond with your front yard. You’ll be delighted how welcoming your front yard could be!

1. The essence of front yard gardens

Traditionally, front yards serve two main purposes: providing a welcoming entrance to your home and creating curb appeal. A well-designed front yard landscape, with appropriately sized and placed elements, will indeed increase the curb appeal of your home. The landscaping should put your home on display by complementing its architecture and welcoming visitors.

A front garden can be a place to engage and open a conversation with your neighbors. Others prefer a private retreat, creating an oasis only for those who enter the garden to enjoy what can’t be seen from the street. It can turn a boring entry into an inviting courtyard garden. You'll also discover how a steep hillside can be transformed into a dramatic front entry. Whatever you plan for your front yard, be sure to spend plenty of time determining the look you want and preparing how to achieve it. With the help of a landscaping designer to guide you, you'll be sure to get a front yard landscape you love.

2. Make way for the walkways

Walkways are essential parts of your property. They may be stepped around but walkways don’t have to be boring. Follow natural access patterns when laying out walks. You can use curves, jogs, or steps only where there is a reason, not just to meander. Combine practicality with visual appeal by making walks at least 36 inches wide. Ideally, walks should slope one to five percent, never more than ten. If the entry is steeper, use curves or ramps. Let plants make the journey interesting.

You don’t want to feel crowded when walking. So make walls, fences, or hedges near walks less than two feet so people can swing their arms or carry. Between the walk and taller verticals, a buffer zone of ground cover, lawn, flowers, or mulch at least two feet wide gives more room for movement.

To add interest to walks, choose brick patterns or exposed-aggregate textures. If you have plain concrete walks, cover them with brick pavers, slate, or tile. Loose materials like tanbark or wood chips are fine for natural garden paths farther away from the house, but they result in too much tracking in if used for the front yard.

3. Plants to prettify your yard

Plantings are easier to install and change, but you'll want to be sure to put them in the right places so they can quickly play a role.

Trees, shrubs, and ground covers are permanent purchases that increase in size and value and take little maintenance. You can even use many edible plants in place of or along with ornamentals. They present little extra work except for harvesting. Try planting a mango tree or a guava tree. The harvests are famous fruits in the Philippines and you will love indulging them!

Flowers beautify your front yard. Favorite flowers in the Philippines that usually don’t require replanting and can survive the hot temperature include Sampaguita, Santan, Gumamela, Dama de Noche, and Ylang-ylang, just to name a few.

4. The architectural aspect of your front yard

Every house facade has visual assets and liabilities. The well-done front yard highlights the pleasing points and masks the poor ones.

The architectural features of your yard will be the most expensive and permanent components of the whole project. You may want to plan them in stages: the driveway first, good steps and walks next, porch or fence the next year. More importantly, select sturdy materials that will add to your landscape such as concrete and brick.

If your house needs to adapt to your desire for a special theme garden like colonial, cottage, Oriental, or Spanish, the look must begin in the front yard. Themes are successful only if you unify all the garden aspects carefully.

You'll also need to determine if your preference is for a formal or informal landscape. Formal settings include strong geometric lines and architectural features, clipped hedges, and uniformly shaped plants and beds. Informal designs are marked by free-flowing, natural-looking elements. Generally, informal home styles and sloping land require less rigid landscapes. Formal houses and flat land can be treated either way. To achieve balance in a landscape, try to position elements through size, color, texture, or other aspects so they give equal weight to each side of a scene.

Keeping elements in proportion to each other is subtle, since plants must grow before you can be sure. Choose plants that will complement your home's size at maturity, as well as some plants that will grow fast enough to quickly make a mark. Remember: the design principles of unity and simplicity often go together.

5. Small yards—big ideas

If your front yard is lacking space, don’t be worried. The landscaping ideas are still numerous! Small garden landscapes are incredibly detail-oriented. Whether the garden is gracing the front of your ancestral home, a tiny bungalow, or a two-storey house, there is no room for sloppy design or incompleteness. That's because what is neglected will invariably become an eyesore.

Despite their diminutive size, small gardens can also have plant palettes as varied as a larger garden. Small gardens can range from quaint cottage-style designs to modern, upscale looks. To accommodate the limitations in space in a small garden, landscaping designers will often use miniature plant species, dwarf specimens and other adapted materials. A good designer doesn't scale down the same garden plan used for a palatial estate, but rather knows how to emphasize and embody the daintier dimensions of a small outdoor space.