Dos and Don’ts of Front Yard Landscape: Rights And Wrongs

Written by Jasper Boekelman and published on

Contemporary landscapes are known for having a clean, minimalist look with no clutter. In contrast to the naturalistic, wavy borders popular in many landscapes, this style emphasizes straight lines and geometric forms which better reflect and relate to the architecture.

Want your home to make a good first impression but not sure how to go about it? Landscaping the front yard can certainly be a daunting task, even without taking into account the added pressure that comes from needing to have great curb appeal. The good news is, there are no across-the-board “RIGHT” and “WRONG” ways of designing the front yard landscape.

Landscaping Dos and Don’ts

It’s hard to have good curb appeal without good landscaping—and yet, for many homeowners, knowing how to achieve a beautifully landscaped yard feels tough. What exactly goes into good landscaping design? What tips should you try to keep in mind, and what mistakes should you aim to avoid? To help answer these questions, here’s a look at some of the biggest landscaping dos and don’ts. When you’re making decisions about your plants and foliage, this is what you’ll want to know.

DON’T start planting willy-nilly.

Just because you like roses and geraniums doesn’t mean you ought to plant rows of them in your front yard. Landscaping without a plan is like building a house without a blueprint. You could wind up making all kinds of costly mistakes that never had to happen. So before you invest in plants and start digging, sit down and outline what it is you want your yard to have. This will help you prioritize tasks and make smart landscaping decisions.

DO think about the big picture.

Your landscaping is about more than one flower or one bush; it’s about the overall picture that your layout creates. Remember this when thinking through the details of flowers, lawn and shrubbery. How will everything work together? What will the overall effect be?

DO get rid of dying shrubs and plants.

Nothing kills the look of landscaping faster than dead foliage. So make it a habit to immediately remove dying shrubs or perennials out of sight. You can throw these lost plants either into a compost pile or, if they’re infested with disease or bugs, in black trash bags.

DO think about your region.

Just like palm trees won’t work in Canada, certain species and varieties of plants won’t work best where you live. Know what sort of climate the plants you’re picking are made for before planting them in your space.

DON’T forget about seasons.

If you live in a climate with seasons, you can expect that certain plants will thrive in spring and not in fall or vice versa. Try to plan your landscaping to have something in bloom throughout the year, from cheery daffodils in spring to dogwoods with bright red branches in winter.

DO give everything some space.

Perennials, shrubs and trees all need room to grow over time. Without it, they’ll overgrow the space they’re in and begin competing with neighboring plants. Before you plant anything, find out how big it is expected to get and be sure to accommodate that in your design.

DO regularly weed plants.

Nobody likes the tedious work of weeding, but if you don’t make an effort to get rid of weeds in your yard, they will take over quickly. This is a big deal because weeds not only hurt your planted landscaping, harm mortar in bricks or stones, and easily grow out of control—but they usually look ugly. Spare yourself the unsightly annoyance and get rid of them as soon as you can.

DO look for low-maintenance options.

Just because you have picturesque landscaping doesn’t mean taking care of your yard has to take over your life. Beyond regular weeding and basic upkeep, there’s little that low-maintenance options will require. Find ways to incorporate these easier plants into your design wherever possible.

Looking at a bare yard can feel overwhelming or exciting, depending on how you view it, so use the tips above to remember that landscaping doesn’t have to be daunting! Think strategically about your space and what you hope to see in it, and use the tips in this post to guide your decisions. Through careful planning, you can make your yard as scenic as you’d like!

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