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Landscaping your front yard can be something you debate about for years. Because your front yard is on display for the neighborhood, there can be some strong feelings associated with this space.

We’ll provide some fall design ideas to inspire your front yard landscaping project. Many of these examples are great DIY projects that could be accomplished in a single weekend. Then, we’ll cover some common initial questions when considering front yard landscaping. These questions or uncertainties are easy to overcome when armed with the right knowledge.

 

Front Yard Landscaping Inspiration for Fall

 

Fall landscape

Add Perennial Color to Your Front Yard Flowerbeds

Think about which colors will pair well with your home exterior. In this example, the rust-colored sedum (stonecrop), yellow rudbeckia (black-eyed susans), and annual purple fountain grasses offer a pleasing array of fall color. And, the grey stone of the house exterior provides a beautiful backdrop where these colors can shine. Also, these perennials are pretty low-maintenance after being planted. They pair well with the larger and perhaps more established elements like the golden-leafed maple tree (right) and limey elderberry shrub’s leaves (left). The heuchera (coral bells) at the front of the planting bed offers a bright foliar pop of magenta that pairs well with planting colors across the seasons.

Get the latest pro tips on fall plantings by downloading our Fall Garden Guide.


 

Image of front yard with symmetry

Add Formality With Symmetry or Repetition

Plantings don’t need to be diverse to make an impact in your front yard landscape. In this example, the path to the front entry is flanked by burning bushes, evergreens like a globe arborvitae, and low-growing junipers. The same effect could be achieved by repeating the globe arborvitae and junipers as a hedge laterally in the front of the house.

Read more about the best trees, and shrubs to plant this season in our Fall Garden Guide.


 

Collage image of fall planters for your front yard

Create A Focal Point With Front Door Fall Planters

Don’t underestimate the power of planters to add curb appeal. Planters offer an opportunity to reflect the style and scale of your home. They’re available in all shapes and sizes and can add a pop of color to draw the eye to your front entrance. And the styling options are nearly endless with fall planters. They can combine live plantings with artificial to provide color and interest until frost. And, if you change your mind in a few weeks? It’s easy to update your container with a new color scheme or adjust texture to fit with from yard landscaping evolutions.

Get the latest fall decor tips by downloading our Fall Garden Guide.


 

Image of front path hardscaping renovation

Give Your Front Yard Entry Path A Facelift

If your concrete path to the front door has seen decades of salt in winter and blazing heat in summer, it may show serious wear and tear. It may be time for an upgrade, like this stone pathway. You may also want to consider a more welcoming or interesting path to your front door. Adding planting space next to the front path can also provide a more welcoming entrance. For those with small yards, adding flowerbeds next to the front path can add new space for fall color where there wasn’t room previously.

Learn how to plan new garden beds that work with your updated pathway in our Fall Garden Guide.


 

Add Interest in the Corners

Install a small picket fence segment in the corner of your front yard property to add definition and increase your planting space. Simply dig down to set your fence posts. Then, attach fence paneling. Paint the posts and pickets a neutral color to provide a clean planting backdrop. Then, choose your perennial plantings to add a pop of color for passersby. Here, we see rudbeckia (black-eyed susans) mass-planted for a beautiful yellow display that works well in fall front yards.

Read more about the latest perennials this season in our Fall Garden Guide.


 

Image of Water Feature

Add A Focal Point With A Water Feature

Water features can be extremely easy to install when using a self-contained trickling water fountain. A water feature in a front yard garden bed can provide a focal point that isn’t the front door. This can add interest and may help balance a yard that has an asymmetrical layout. Additionally, water features can add height to a planting space that may otherwise be filled with mid-height or lower plantings.

Review about other focal point options in our Fall Garden Guide.


Image of fall bulb planting

Plant Bulbs in Front Yard Flowerbeds

What better way to ensure your curb appeal makes an impact every season than planting bulbs? Fall is the perfect time to plan ahead for next year’s garden. Bulbs are the first glimmers of color we see peeking out of the ground after a long, gray winter.

Here are just a few varieties you might try:

  • Alliums
  • Crocus
  • Daffodils
  • Hyacinths
  • Scilla (includes Bluebells)
  • Tulips

Get more tips on bulb planting by downloading our Fall Garden Guide.


Common Front Yard Landscaping Questions

 

Can I DIY my front yard landscaping?

One of the biggest questions you’ll ask yourself when landscaping your front yard is: will you do it yourself (DIY) or hire a professional? Each can be equally exciting and easily manageable (with a few tools and tips).
Many homeowners might be afraid to tackle their front yard. But if you can break your vision down into specific projects, it’s much easier to manage than you might initially think. We’ve crafted a great Fall Garden Guide that can help you get started. The helpful experts at your neighborhood nursery and garden center are there to guide and inform shoppers. So, don’t be afraid of asking questions about which plants will be best for your front yard while you visit.
Hiring a professional may not be as expensive as you think. So, if you’re on the fence, it’s worth getting a few estimates from reputable landscapers. Then, compare those costs and timelines with your own DIY costs and dedicated time. The decision to DIY or hire a professional is often based upon a few factors. Those factors typically include:
  • your physical ability
  • the project complexity
  • your availability and time to complete the project
  • and budget.
 

What is the definition of hardscaping and softscaping in landscape design?

Landscaping involves both hardscaping and softscaping, or plantings. Hardscaping means you have or will install elements that will not change or grow over time. Examples of hardscaping include:
  • gravel pathways
  • concrete or stone sidewalks
  • boulders and natural stone
  • patios
  • decks
  • pergolas
  • and arbors.
Conversely, softscaping consists of elements that will change, mature, or grow over time. Softscape elements soften and enhance the hardscape. Examples of softscape elements include: trees, shrubs, perennial plants, annual plants, or mulch. In the above image, the brick path leading to the front door is a good example of hardscaping. The shrubs, trees, hosta, and rosebushes are softscape elements.

To develop a balanced landscape, you’ll often want to have both hardscape and softscape elements in your yard. Some hardscape elements might already be there for you. For example, in your front yard you may have a front porch or entryway space. In order to access your front door, you may have steps leading up to the entryway or porch. Then, you may have a sidewalk from the driveway that leads to those steps indoors. If you want to change any of these elements, you’ll need to plan for hardscaping.

How do I hide unattractive elements in my front yard?

Many homeowners have to navigate landscape planning while considering less attractive elements. Some examples of unmovable unattractive elements in your front yard might include:
  • telephone poles
  • sewer cleanout access
  • utility meters
  • a well cap
  • or a septic access panel.
One of your easiest options is to soften the impact of these using plants. If you want to have 4-season coverage, you’ll want to look at an evergreen. Deciduous shrubs or large perennials might also be an option if you are only concerned about hiding these elements in warmer months when you’re spending time outdoors.
 
Also, consider the need to access these components. For example, a gas or electric meter needs to be accessible by meter reading staff. Ornamental grasses can work well in this case, since they’re easy to brush aside. And, you’d want to be careful not to plant a tree that would interfere below electric or telephone lines. So, a vining plant might be a good option.

Download Image for Fall Garden Guide

 

Platt Hill Nursery is Chicago’s premier garden center and nursery.