Download FREE Garden Themebook click here


Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

Photo of completed front yard landscaping

Enhance your home’s entrance zone and creating street appeal

Front yard landscaping ideas traditionally focused on achieving two main aims: Enhancing a home’s entrance zone and creating street appeal.

Today, space poor homeowners are asking a lot more from their front yard landscaping. Ideas to create street appeal and an attractive, functional entrance zone are still expected but typically this is combined with ideas for landscaping and planting that will also provide security, privacy and screening as outdoor play and living moves into the front yard space. 

Ideas for Front Yard Landscaping

Front yard landscaping ideas for families often focus on utilising an unused front yard as a play garden, which makes a lot of sense. Typically fenced, secure and often well-sized, a front yard can accommodate a trampoline or other play equipment such as a cubby house and this has the upside of really extending a family’s useable garden space elsewhere. Having play areas out of sight (and earshot) of the main living areas of the house are appealing ideas if your children are older and more boisterous. Include tall hedges or a row of narrow screening palms such as Chamadorea costericana (bamboo palm) in your front yard planting design and having a play space here doesn’t have to detract from street appeal.

Other front yard landscaping ideas worth considering are to turn a private front garden space into an enclosed entrance courtyard or secondary patio. Replacing the standard 900mm wide path straight to the front door with a tiled or paved area visually enhances the entry to your home and provides a more generous space to welcome and farewell guests. Landscaping can include an overhead arbour, seat or even a water feature and this beautiful garden space can also become an inviting seating nook or getaway space, extending the outdoor living opportunities of your property.

If it is large, sunny and can be made private enough front yard landscaping can include swimming pools, or in more modest-sized front yards, spa retreats.  A clever front yard design should include some outside the box thinking and clever ideas to make the most of this valuable space. 

Landscaping – more Front Yard ideas

Many front yards are open to the street, particularly in newer suburbs where ideas for landscaping must support the aim of crime prevention through environmental design. This is a valid part of urban planning processes and landscaping guidelines often include restrictions or bans on front yard fencing. This can make front yard spaces unusable and if you are lacking in other ideas, high maintenance lawns are a common landscaping response. If you find you only venture out to the front yard to mow the lawn, then consider landscaping ideas to replace it with a low maintenance garden. This can still enable passive security and surprisingly can be a less labour-intensive option than a lawn. Be it a flower-filled abundance or a textural sweep of foliage plants, a well-designed, mass planted front yard is a bold and stunning landscaping move that is sure to make your home stand out from the rest.

Mass planted frontages are a great landscaping option if your house is a little lacking in the looks department.  Garden composition ideas including well placed and attractive shrubs and small trees can provide the visual appeal that is lacking. If the planting design includes the plant species that provide food sources, your front yard garden can become a delightful habitat for birds and other desirable wildlife.

A little tricker in a front yard, but still doable with clever landscaping ideas, is an edible front yard. Whilst vegetables are harder to accommodate in a tidy way, fruit trees and edible hedges often have aesthetic qualities that deserve a place in a front garden. Ficus carica (fig), Diospyros virginiana (persimmon) and Malus sylvestris (crabapple) cultivars, make shapely and attractive specimen trees while Myrtus ugni (NZ cranberry / Chilean guava and Vaccinium (blueberry) can make pretty hedges and can be perfect to line the pedestrian route to the front door.

Whatever purpose you end up choosing for your front yard, just make your landscaping ideas evolve to include a pedestrian route to the front door that is clear and defined, creates a sense of arrival at the property and provides that all-important street appeal. Check zoning rules in your area such as front yard setbacks and allowable hardscape coverage, and know what is allowed in your district if your front yard landscaping ideas include built structures such as fences, arbours and even treehouses.