For a unified appearance, tailor your front lawn landscaping to the fashion of your house. Before planting, think about the upkeep required. Because the front yard is always on display, you want to keep it neat. Consider the hardscape features and established shrubs and trees; they supply structure year-round. The next step is examining growing conditions — light, moisture, soil — so you’ll have nature’s help.
A small, cozy house with a small lawn calls for a cottage garden. Leaving little or no lawn, flowers, herbs and vegetables are commingled in a riotous confusion. Many times, a white picket fence surrounds all of it. Including a birdbath enables wildlife to enjoy the garden also. Having a basic color scheme — state, yellow, yellow and red or pink, purple and blue — guards against whole chaos. Introduce some surprises for comparison, though, like lavender (Lavandula angustifolia “Hidcote”) against the warm colours or sunflower (Helianthus “Lemon Queen”) among the cool colours. Arbors covered with climbing roses are just another natural for cottage gardens. Repeating components in the house and lawn, like a picket fence when there are white columns onto a white or porch trim on a pastel house, ties the whole together. Set the fence back a bit from the street or pavement, and plant flowers on the exterior for passers-by to relish.
In locations where rain is infrequent, and particularly if your house has Southwestern architecture, a xeriscape garden makes the most sense. A front yard within this style could have small lawn and comprise pea gravel ground cover with tile or sandstone pavers. Growing plants in big terra-cotta planters lets you easily supplement the soil, if necessary, and the planters may echo stucco or adobe walls. Succulents, in all their interesting forms, are mainstays of the garden. Tall red yuccas (Hesperaloe parviflora) and native fairy dusters (Calliandra californica) can provide bright blooms. Personalize your front entry by painting the doorway a funky color, such as turquoise or purple, and adding distinctive metallic hardware.
Traditional one-story ranch houses fare best with asymmetrical groupings and curved flowerbeds. Low-maintenance plants are the rule in this kind of garden. Reliable evergreens and perennials make up the majority of the plantings. Various daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.) Stick from the beds, near the house and edging the street. Choose a complex color scheme which has gray-green leaf, such as the olive (Olea europaea), contrasted with wine-colored foliage, as on New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax). Extensive use of lawns, flagstone paths and low walls are hallmarks of the modern style.
Asian Zen Garden
To create a soothing atmosphere, a classic Japanese garden, place together with organic materials like stone, weathered timber and water, acts on all your senses. From the visual treat of a delicate, airy Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) to the vanilla scent of evergreen clematis vine (Clematis armandii) to the tinkle of wind chimes, this garden can be a sanctuary from the outside world. A koi pond may turn into a focal point, and heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica) works well flanking the doorway. Make your garden into an entrance courtyard with a wooden fence and covered gate which features a pagoda-like roof. Individualize the area with Asian-influenced sculptures and also include evergreens and flowering trees, particularly those with a weeping growth habit.