40 Brilliant Front Garden and Landscaping Projects You’ll Love
Thanks in part to rising home prices and the circulation of inspirational garden photos on sites like Pinterest and Instagram, homeowners have begun to see their front yards in a new light. Not only does a well-designed landscape help highlight the beauty and architectural features of a house, but it also raises a home’s value by improving curb appeal. While an attractive yard may take time and money to create, there are some creative and low-maintenance ways to update your home’s exterior without breaking the bank.
40 Creative Front Yard Landscaping Ideas and Garden Designs for 2020
There are some front garden ideas which are universally useful. For instance, nearly every front yard benefits from utilizing a mixture of evergreens and colorful seasonal flowers. By mixing the two you’ll have both year-round greenery and the freedom to add or remove flowering plants as the seasons change. Depending on your climate and commitment you may be able to even make use of flowering evergreens such as azaleas to create a welcoming front yard that requires almost no effort.
However, you should also be mindful of your commitment level and your environment when planning a garden. Every plant has specific watering and sunlight needs. A succulent garden is unlikely to thrive in a shady New England yard, and a fern garden won’t last long in a sun-drenched Southwestern yard.
No matter what front yard landscaping idea you favor, pick plants that are appropriate for your climate and for the specific conditions in your yard and with a little know-how, you can create a front garden that will wow your neighbors and give a boost to your home’s value.
One of the easiest ways to add some interest to your home’s front yard is to plant a colorful border of flowering plants to enliven your entryway. In this front garden idea, a mixture of annual and perennial flowers such as hydrangeas and petunias are used for a pop of color while a few evergreen bushes ensure year-round greenery. What makes this particular design so appealing is the use of window boxes. Not only do they help to beautify the entryway, but they also help draw visitors’ eyes to the house itself. This is a great way to add instant beauty to any home but is especially useful for guest homes, show homes, or houses that are on the market.
You may not think that you have enough room for a water feature in your yard, but with a little creativity you can add a small fountain virtually anywhere. This small nook between the front door and the garage makes use of an otherwise underutilized space for a pondless fountain. A small pump inside the glazed pot keeps the water circulating. If you have a shaded corner where plants struggle to grow, a small fountain makes a great alternative to a rock garden (or weeds). This option is also well-suited to homeowners who like the sounds made by a water feature but do not want to care for a pond or large fountain.
What could be better than a shabby chic wooden wheelbarrow overflowing with ivy and flowers? This sweet idea would be fantastic for almost any yard but is especially well-suited for cottage gardens. While many kinds of flowers would be ideal for this kind of garden display, petunias, fuschias, and other hanging basket favorites are particularly pretty when they spill over the sides. To ensure the best results, make sure to use a high-quality potting mix which will retain water in the wheelbarrow to keep your flowers happy during hot summer weather.
Hedge your bets by incorporating a classic – and classy – boxwood hedge along your entry path. Although simple and monochromatic, the tightly leaved branches of boxwood shrubs can be easily shaped into any number of designs. Left small and round as shown in this front garden idea, or clipped into a short rectangular hedge, they help guide the eye to the front door of a house, and subtly encourage visitors to use the pathway instead of walking on the grass. Paired with a short but colorful groundcover such as creeping thyme or phlox, a short hedge can be one of the lowest-maintenance options for flower beds and walkway borders.
5. Multi-Season Flowerbed with Annuals and Evergreens
By mixing flower varieties that bloom during different seasons, you can ensure a constant display of colors throughout the entire year. In this example, evergreen bushes are interspersed with spring and summer flowers as well as annual greenery to create a lush cottage garden. Not only is the riot of pinks, reds, and greens complementary to the house’s style, but it makes it seem more inviting. The window boxes are planted with the same variety of annual seen in the yard’s border which not only draws visitor’s eyes upwards but also gives the front yard a more unified look.
If you’re a novice gardener or often find that you’re too busy to keep your border looking its best, try this idea for an easy-to-update flower bed. While especially useful for bulbs which need special care and often need to be overwintered indoors, you can also buy potted flowers, evergreen shrubs, or creeping groundcovers and simply swap them out for new plants as the seasons change. This is an especially useful idea for neglected side yards which are left bare. You can also use this idea to add showy if short-lived annuals in an established perennial beds.
Modern yet rustic, dramatic but easy to care for, this succulent display is perfect for a xeriscape or low water yard. Succulents are available in many color varieties and require very little care. Be sure to use a mixture of textures and types including small yuccas or aloes for height and creeping succulents to fill in gaps for the best results. Western gardeners will appreciate how little water and care this kind of display requires, but this kind of succulent planter can be used in almost any climate. If you live in an area with cold or wet winters, bring your planters inside to keep your succulents happy.
8. Low Maintenance Evergreen Border with a Pop of Color
Do you want to steer clear of annual flowers altogether, but still enjoy a flashy bit of color in your front yard? While evergreens certainly keep a yard from feeling bare in the winter, azaleas have the added benefit of producing breathtaking floral displays during the spring and early summer. They come in a wide variety of colors from deep fuschia to white and are adapted to a large number of climates. Mixed with other non-blooming evergreens, as they are in this example, they add interest to an entryway display without the extra work of maintaining blooming annual flowers or bulbs.
Looking to hide an ugly wall, fence, or mailbox? As an alternative to ivy, consider establishing several trellises for clematis. This showy flower comes in endless varieties as there are more than 300 species in the genus. Keep it in cool, moist soil for the best displays, and make sure it gets plenty of sun. In colder areas, it is deciduous, while in warmer areas it can be an evergreen. Either way, you will be blessed with a proliferation of showy flowers every summer. While pink and purple colors are most common, flowers come in every shade from white to bright red to indigo and in many different flower shapes.
Add a touch of whimsy to your yard with a planter made from a vintage bicycle. By turning the bike’s front basket and rear pannier baskets into hanging baskets, you can create a fanciful shabby chic display. Lean it up against a tree or against a wall and use colorful annuals or ivy as seen in this front garden idea. If you want to add a more decorative touch, include antiqued signs or other rustic elements. As with all container gardens, be sure to use a high-quality potting mix which drains well but holds moisture to keep your flowers happy during hot weather.
The area beneath mature shade trees can be challenging to properly landscape. Most annuals are sun-loving and don’t do well in the near-constant shade of established trees. However, there are some varieties of annual as well as many groundcovers which can thrive in this environment. Sweet alyssum, coleus, begonias, touch-me-nots, and pansies are all able to enjoy this kind of shaded ground. This well-structured bed is edged with pavers both to keep the flower bed tidy and to make it easier to mow around the tree without disturbing the tree’s roots. But a rough, unmortared rock wall could be used instead for a more rustic look.
If you think a cinderblock planter must look bland and utilitarian, think again. By staggering the layout of the blocks you can create small planters for succulents around the outside of the main raised bed. This kind of block wall creates a simple and clean look that compliments modern landscaping well. Instead of the plants shown here, you can use plants best suited to your climate such as evergreens, ferns, hostas, and so on. Keep in mind that the best way to replicate this front yard landscaping idea is by keeping the plantings sparse and the lines clean.
Driveways benefit from the addition of a narrow bed along their length. Not only does this give your yard a tidier and more appealing look, but it allows you to add lighting to the edge of the driveway to guide guests to your door. These small lanterns aren’t only fun and whimsical, but are practical, too! Both solar and wired lights are available in most gardening and home stores and, along with the small boxwood shrubs, create instant curb appeal for any house. Edged with pavers and thickly mulched, you shouldn’t have many problems with weeds, making this a low-maintenance option for any entryway.
Southern elegance meets cottage charm in this front garden design. While it may seem monochrome to many, the lush combination of hostas and hydrangeas creates a simple but pleasing spring and summer option. Ideally, you should pair these two plants with a few evergreens to ensure year-round interest, as the verdant beauty of the hostas will fade with the first frosts. Both hydrangeas and hostas like and even prefer some shade, so this combination is best suited to yards with mature trees or in areas where they will be shaded by the house itself during the afternoon.
If you live in an area with unreliable rain or where water resources are limited, consider planting your front yard with drought-resistant foliage and flowers. As you can see in this example, water-wise gardening does not have to mean a spartan aesthetic! Many traditional garden flowers such as roses are actually quite hardy in drier yards, and flowering herbs like rosemary, lavender, and thyme do amazingly well with little watering. In this particular yard, a small water and rock feature has created an appealing backdrop for a wide variety of drought-resistant plants and creates a rustic cottage feel to what might otherwise be a rather ordinary entryway.
Mediterranian features not only make a yard feel more balanced and elegant but are another great option for drought-prone gardens. Broad paved pathways converge to create a small plaza in the middle of this yard. The entry gate is flanked by planted urns which add interest and height to the garden, and also help to highlight the simple but charming fountain and its flower bed. Petunias are hardy plants and will continue to flower in hot weather, making them an ideal choice for this type of display. Water-wise annuals and groundcovers ring the fountain without crowding it.
Have a black thumb? No time to garden? Want an entryway landscape that you can virtually ignore? Evergreens like junipers require relatively little watering, stay green year round, and are hard to kill once they are established. As a bonus, they are easily sculpted into topiary forms which provide a lot of visual interest to a home’s entryway. At this home, a small fountain has been added as well as a few annuals for some color. If you’re looking for the bare essentials, you can’t go wrong with several evergreens in a well-mulched or stone filled bed.
If you enjoy the clean lines and serenity of stone gravel beds, you’ll enjoy the spa-like elegance of this landscape design. The contrast between the planted beds and the neatly clipped lawn make this aesthetic ideal not only for a residence but for businesses, too! By primarily choosing low-maintenance perennials and shrubs, you can not only create more height variety and therefore visual interest, but you’ll also create a low-maintenance landscape that changes with the seasons. The large concrete orbs in the gravel bed create a focal point, but you could easily replace them with topiary evergreens or with large natural stone boulders for a more rustic vibe.
Planters are a great way to enliven a specific area of the yard, and a hollowed log or stump is a great natural alternative to concrete or plastic. As a bonus, you probably already have a stump or log in your yard you can use for this kind of display. If not, try searching the free ads in your area, and you are likely to find someone who is more than willing to give you their downed tree. While a log planter looks great in many yards, it will truly look at home in a rustic cottage garden.
Petunias are often overlooked by green thumbs and experienced landscapers, but this humble but tough flower can not only add to your front yard landscaping idea but can even be the star of the show. In this yard, petunias are used both in the hanging baskets on the porch but as a highlight in the flower beds as well. This is not only practical but helps to visually tie the look of the home and yard together with color. Because petunias don’t mind dry soils and bloom for an extended period of time, they are a perfect choice for hanging baskets no matter where you live.
The clean look and neutral tones of a modern home are a perfect aesthetic match for this cactus-free front yard landscaping idea. Native desert plants are partnered with yellow kangaroo paw, an Australian import, to create a simple but dynamic xeriscaped landscape. While the yellow flowers of the kangaroo paw might be the most eye-catching flowers in this photo, the silvery green texas ranger bushes in the background are known for their abundant displays purple or pink flowers which appear after summer rains. Along with the silver blue foliage of the ground cover and the well-established grasses, this mixture of drought hardy plants softens the hard lines of the stairway and proves that there’s more to desert landscaping than just cactus.
Tree stumps can be difficult and expensive to remove. Instead of ripping out a stump after a tree removal, turn an ugly eyesore into a beautiful feature of your front yard by turning it into a flower planter. Simply create a hollow in the stump, and plant with annuals. Not only will the tree stump help maintain soil moisture and provide some nutrients for your flowers, but the soil microbes and fungi that grow among the roots your flowers will break down the stump more quickly. This kind of make-do display is especially well-suited to cottage-style gardens or rustic, woodsy yards.
Flowers are beautiful, but many annuals have a limited life span and perennials take some effort to maintain. For a splash of color without any need for flowers, try incorporating different varieties of coleus amongst established hostas for a showy but low maintenance display. This is especially useful in shady yards or beneath trees where sun-hungry flowers may fail to thrive. Coleus come in a wide variety of color combinations from subdued variegated greens to hot pink and orange to velvety dark reds. Western gardeners should consider coral bells as a hardy, low water alternative to coleus.
24. Structured Evergreen Garden Beds with Colorful Planters
No matter what style of house or what kind of climate you have, a permanent and structural evergreen landscape with colorful planted containers makes for an easy to care for and easy to update look. The classic low boxwood hedge draws visitors eyes and feet to the front door while topiary evergreens and a white barked multi-trunked tree bring height and year-round drama to the entryway. As spring flowers fade in the planted containers, exchange them for summer favorites, then add hardy kale or mums in the fall. This style of front garden is almost universally flattering and easy to care for and is worth replicating!
Even if your front yard is limited to a small strip of ground between the sidewalk and the road, make the most of it by planting a colorful bed of flowers at the base of your mailbox. Any number of annuals or ground covers can be used at the base to create a small but showy display which will delight your mailman and passers-by. Be aware that if your greenery blocks your driveway’s line of sight or if the strip of land beside the road belongs to your local municipality and not to your property, you may be asked to remove this kind of roadside flower bed.
This bold look is perfect for mid-century or modern homes where the home’s architecture pairs well with structured beds. In this example, the homeowner has cleverly matched stone on the walls of the house to the stone used for the garden beds. A Japanese maple takes pride of place in the central bed. These dwarf maple trees have colorful foliage which is often bronze or red year round. Other notable features include the tall planters that flank the doorway and the stone pillar fountain. Both of these elements help cut the strong horizontal lines created by the home and planting beds and pull the eye towards the entryway.
If you need a simple way to establish and define a flower bed, a shallow stacked stone retainer wall is a great option. In a sloped yard, a stone border can help sculpt the landscape and retain flat terraced sections giving you more gardening options and adding drama. In this particular example, a low stone barrier has been used to contain groundcover planted beneath a tree. Not only does this help to define the separation between the flower bed and the lawn around it, but it also makes it easier to trim the grass around the bed, giving a tidier appearance to the yard.
Take your garden to the next level with these sturdy and functional tiered garden beds. A sloped lawn can be tricky to maintain as they are often more difficult to mow and can develop dry or wet spots where water settles unevenly. However, they offer great opportunities for terraced beds like these. Whether you view your sloped yard as a blessing or a curse, this block wall offers a simple way to add some structure to your front garden design. Brick, natural stone, or industrial concrete walls are viable alternatives to the paver bricks used in this example.
This ingenious sign post allows you to display your house number and also offers display space for a hanging basket. If the entryway to your home is set back from the road or if you have a prominent garage which blocks the view of passers-by, displaying your house number closer to the road is not only decorative but practical as well. A stained corner fence post, some inexpensive metal house numbers and a metal hanging basket arm are easily found and purchased at a home supply store. For less than the cost of a restaurant meal, you can make a creative and attractive display like the one shown here.
These metal garden path lights are a sleek alternative to the lantern-like pathway lights normally sold at home stores. While pathway lights aren’t always necessary, they tend to offer a more welcoming feel to a home’s entryway. By choosing to update this one element, you can take your landscape design up a notch. Paired with a cut flagstone path and a pleasing mix of grasses, annuals, and evergreens, this front garden idea is a solid mix of modern and classic elements.
With a few modifications, you can turn an old wagon into a delightfully shabby chic plant stand. By adding a few planks to the interior to form steps or risers, you can simply place potted annuals inside for a simple but fun display. The mix of glazed pots and old enamelware cooking pots that have been recycled into planters is a thrifty and whimsical touch. This is an especially creative idea for renters who may not have permission to plant directly in the yard but still want to add some country charm to their home.
Concrete walls may not immediately spring to mind when you’re planning out your front yard landscaping idea. But this clean design may change your mind. If you own a modern home or a mid-century ranch, this kind of austere stepped bed can be paired with fern-like Japanese maples for a soft but structured design. Not only do these beds compliment the lines of the house, but it also allows for the display of focused plantings. Instead of Japanese maples, you could choose shaped junipers or corkscrew willows as alternatives.
Stumped about what you should do with the dead tree in your yard? If removing a tree stump isn’t practical or economic, make the best of an eyesore by giving it new life. By using a tree stump as an outdoor plant stand and display, you can instantly create an appealing display in your yard. While this front garden idea may not be suited to every yard, in the right setting, a stump can become a blessing, not a curse. Alternatively, use an attractive trailing ground cover like ivy instead of petunias as a lower maintenance option.
During the spring and summer, it’s easy to find a wide variety of blooming plants to beautify your yard. This front yard landscaping idea makes use of cold-tolerant flowers and decorative kale to create a colorful autumn display that’s sure to be the envy of your neighborhood. You can either intersperse late blooming plants with your spring and summer annuals, or you can fully replace dead and dying early bloomers when the time comes. Either way, extending the season for flowers at your home will make your front yard more inviting when the seasons change.
There are few things that are more romantic than roses. The white picket fence and arched climbing arbor in this garden not only help frame the entryway of the house but also lend an air of nostalgia to this home. The rough flagstone pathway and wide flower beds perfectly compliment the cottage-like feel of this front yard landscaping idea. While pink roses are always a safe choice, the bold red of the roses in the picture are a good match for the red rocking chair on the porch and even the door of the house itself.
Lantern-style lighting isn’t always aesthetically pleasing or practical for a front garden design. If you’ve been searching for an alternative light source that won’t conflict with your modern landscape – or if you’re simply tired of having to weed or mow around lantern lights – then this ingenious idea may be the creative solution you need. Exterior rope lights are low visibility during the day and seamlessly blend into the edge of any garden bed. At night, they cast a glow right where your visitors need it, and help define your entryway path.
If you live in an area where temperatures regularly soar above 100 degrees, you know how difficult it can be to maintain an attractive front yard no matter how often you water. Many plants – including many blooming annuals – simply cannot survive long periods of dry heat. In these areas, your best option may be to use a low maintenance and water savvy Mediterranean front garden design such as the idea shown here. Hardy evergreens with waxy leaves are better able to retain moisture during heatwaves and droughts. Many palm trees are, of course, well-adapted to hot arid conditions. Finally, low-growing junipers offer an alternative to more delicate leafy ground covers.
This breathtakingly lovely front yard landscaping idea may seem unachievable at first glance, but if you look closer, you’ll notice that the fenceline is planted with a small variety of flowers. By repeating three or four flowers in sequence, you can achieve a simple yet jaw-dropping display which will be the envy of the neighborhood. Hybrid roses tend to be tough and resilient, and with a moderate amount of care, will gain their full potential within a year or two of planting. While you’ll need to monitor your roses for insect infestations and disease, long-blooming varieties will provide you with three seasons of flowers.
If you’re fortunate enough to live in a climate where you can grow subtropical species, consider using this front yard landscaping idea as inspiration for your entryway. A well-groomed line of evergreens is flanked by canna lilies which offer a long-lasting pop of color among the greenery. Palm trees provide some vertical interest to the yard. But the focal point of this design is the large waterfall. In areas where the threat of freezing is minimal, a bold water feature won’t need as much care as fountains or ponds in northern areas. Be sure to add a bold spotlight at night to highlight it and to create a sense of drama.
Metalwork and stone may seem like an unlikely base for a pretty arrangement of seasonal blooms, but this front garden idea proves that rusted iron can be beautiful. An evergreen takes pride of place at the center of the planter and is surrounded by trailing flowers and bright green sweet potato vine. Sweet potato vine is a great alternative to ivy and other ground covers, and its leaves are often a bright chartreuse green as seen here. Be sure that metal planters can drain adequately without causing rust stains, and try to place them where full sun will not cause the soil in the planter to overheat.