More Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

Low-Growing Landscapes Enhance Ranch Style Homes

Match the front yard landscape to suit the style of your home. For instance, use low-growing shrubs, grasses and flowering plants to repeat the horizontal lines of a ranch-style house. Some low growing plants such as dwarf trees, small conifer trees and ground cover look amazing in front of ranch style homes. Choosing evergreen will ensure that you enjoy the lush green landscape throughout the year. It’s also a good idea to plant smaller plants in the front of flowerbeds and taller ones in back to create depth and dimension.

Tip: Be sure to check plant tags to know how big your shrubs or trees will be once fully grown.

Quaint Cottages, Classic Styles and More

A white picket fence surrounds the front yard of a cottage.

Accent a Cape Cod house or cottage with classic details such as a white picket fence and cottage garden flowers like roses, larkspurs, dianthus, snapdragons and hydrangeas. Some houses lend themselves to landscaping, and cottages are at the top of the list. 

Less is More with Modern Style Homes

A house with a contemporary design includes a minimalistic front yard.

A minimalistic or simple front yard fits well with a contemporary house. Grow plants with spiky leaves or sculptural forms and use concrete or other modern-looking containers. Instead of lantern-shaped lights along a walkway, add a glow with outdoor rope lights or choose sleek mounted lighting for a wall. Native plants are great if you want plants and shrubbery that are low maintenance. Since these plants live in places that match their growing requirements, they will thrive in the soils, moisture and weather of that region.

Get Creative with Traditional Style Homes

 The front yard of a formal house with shrubbery and a large tree.

The traditional style home pulls from a variety of historical architectural periods. Details such as large front porches with overhanging beams, rafters and columns may be featured on these homes. Materials such as brick, wood, plaster, stucco and stone are commonly used as well. When it comes to lawn maintenance, it’s great to start with shrubs and basic lawn care. This creates the perfect foundation to create a front yard you’ll love.

Drought-Tolerant Landscaping Tips

A cactus garden in a front yard.

Do you have a small yard in a hot, dry climate? Grow space-saving succulents and cacti or native plants that don’t need much water. Instead of grass, cover your soil with attractive landscaping rocks, crushed stone, pebbles or gravel. Also, knowing your plant hardiness zone will allow you to determine which plants grow best in your part of the world. A technique called xeriscaping entails using drought resistant grass mixes, native plants and drought-resistant plants to keep your landscape thriving with little water.

Place an Arbor Over the Front Walk

An arbor is raised over a front walk in a front yard.

Put an arbor over the walk to your front entrance. Plant it with climbing roses, Carolina jasmine, clematis or other vining plants. Consider attaching the arbor to a picket fence to make your front yard feel like a welcoming garden enclosure. You could also add trellises, pergolas and hardscape features like retaining walls or pathways to add visual interest to your landscape.

Add a Water Feature

A water feature framed with flowers and rocks stands in a front yard.

Install a small water feature, such as a fish pond or a glazed pot with a circulating pump, and let the overflow splash into a bed of attractive rocks. Fountains are also a great way to add an organic touch to your yard. Allow the soothing sounds of the water to drown out the noise from street traffic. Outdoor fountains create a calming oasis in your yard, while a tabletop fountain can be used on your front porch to bring the zen right to you. 

Line the Walkway

Colorful plants line a front walk in a front yard.

You can make your house the focus by planting a few trees or shrubs on each side of your walkway. Grow flowers under them and echo their colors in planters beside your entrance. Line the walkway to your front entrance with landscape lighting or low-growing liriope or mondo grass, sometimes called monkey grass. The walkway is also a great place for solar and LED lights to dimly light your path at night and impress onlookers. Our DIY Pathway guide provides all the direction you need to create a pathway you can be proud of.

Fill Window Boxes with Color

Flowers grow from a window box at the front of a house.

A window box is the perfect way to inject color and detail in the front of your home. Mixing and matching vibrant blooms and plants gives your house charming details that will increase curb appeal and distinguish it from other houses. Fill window boxes with colorful flowers, herbs or small shrubs. To enhance the effect, add the same plants in matching or complementary colors to flower beds below the windows.

Showcase Your Mailbox

A flower bed surrounds a white mailbox in a front yard.

We all don’t have space for a garden, but a mailbox can be used to display shrubs, colorful flowers and climbing vines to showcase your taste. Whether you choose pavers to create a border or have your plants growing wildly around your mailbox, it’s sure to add interest to your front yard. Dress it up with a new set of house numbers, too.

Source: Front Yard Landscaping Ideas (

Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards

A small home with manicured bushes and flowers.

With small front yards, creative landscaping can have a big impact. There’s nothing like bringing in colorful plants and flowers to add to the overall quaintness of your front lawn.

  • Use small shrubs, bulbs or annuals in containers by your front door, in hanging baskets on your porch or in window boxes. For best results, fill the planters and baskets with a quality potting soil. The potted plants will add color and interest at different levels.
  • Think about proportion and look for plants that match the scale of your house and yard. 
  • If your small yard doesn’t feel private, grow ornamental grass, flowering plants and shrubs of different heights. Use some evergreens so your yard won’t be completely exposed in the fall and winter. 
  • Grow vertically. Train vining or climbing plants on fences or on trellises close to, but not touching, your house. 
  • Source: Front Yard Landscaping Ideas (

How to landscape a front yard without plants

Front of a modern home with wooden yard

If you’re looking for front yard landscaping ideas without plants, don’t be discouraged. Although many people see shrubs and a neatly mowed lawn as integral elements of a front yard, it’s perfectly possible to have a beautiful front of house, sans plants. Whether you have a tricky north-facing location, or simply don’t want to look after plants, there are plenty of alternatives. 

These front yard landscaping ideas are suitable for small or large homes, and won’t require any maintenance. Follow this expert advice to make the no-plants look work for you.  

Front yard landscaping without plants: first considerations

If you’re not keen on plants in your front yard but are worried that there just aren’t any garden landscaping ideas that don’t involve greenery and look good, you need the reassurance of a landscaping professional. Lyle Mosca from Imperial Landscape and Masonry, advises that although ‘when considering the design of your front yard, many people will create nicely edged garden beds, adding shrubs, flowers, and other colorful accents’, you actually have ‘a number of options that can work either in complement or instead of traditional greenery.’

Low-maintenance front garden landscaping options that also ‘add a ton of character to their yard’ include ‘hardscaping, water features, and other decorative pieces. No matter what your style, you will find something that will suit your needs.’

Basically, if you don’t want many – or any – plants in your front yard, you’ll want to acquaint yourself with the many hard landscaping materials out there, from stone to concrete paving and gravel. 

Daniel McCurry, landscaping professional from Father Nature Landscapes, also reminds garden owners that the goal of outdoor livings space is ‘bringing people together’, which should guide your choice of central accents in your front yard. McCurry recommends focusing on ‘patio ideas, fireplaces, kitchens, fountains, lighting, and sound.’ If you want a bit of decoration, you can consider ‘concrete sculptures, limestone urns, benches and statuaries, stone pieces, or simply boulders!’ McCurry has one top tip for designing a front yard without plants, however: ‘have fun with your garden space, but attempt to keep one piece per viewable area; having too many in one view will de-value the piece that you are attempting to display.’

What can you put on landscaping besides plants?

Mosca seconds the view that tastefully chosen centerpieces can make a big difference to a front yard: ‘Adding in an art installation as an eye-catching centerpiece can become the focal point of your front yard, allowing you to build out from around that. To complement the art installation, using unique textures to your yard like wood and rock features will help to create depth and character.’

An alternative to an art installation or sculpture is exploring water feature ideas. While Mosca appreciates that ‘many prefer to have their water features in the backyard where they can enjoy the ambient sound of falling or rushing water’, it’s also true that ‘these types of features can fit perfectly in the front yard. Think about adding a small stream to complement eye-catching interlock, retaining or feature walls, and other masonry features.’ 

Finally, if you want no plants at all, and don’t necessarily want a water feature either, you should explore rock garden ideas. Mosca points out that ‘the use of rocks and other stone features can also help to create unique design elements in your landscaping.’ Using rocks also removes ‘the burden of weeding and maintenance. With the right design and planning, rock features combined with interlocking can often replace the need for grass entirely!’

What can I put in front of house instead of shrubs?

The idea that you absolutely must have shrubs in your front yard is a myth. McCurry explains that ‘the goal of plantings in front of the house is to accentuate the architecture, not cover it.’ That means that ‘sometimes, you could have a front foundation that hardly has any plant material, but still accents the architecture!’ Consider ‘containers, well-placed bed-lines, architectural turf layout, entry terraces or even allowing your motor court to go all the way up to the house is a possibility.’

The main challenge with going for a no-plant front yard landscaping is that it can look quite harsh, even if you prefer a minimalist modern exterior. McCurry’s top tip is to have a ‘low-plant design’ that allows for a balance of ‘hardscape to the greenery in general. If you allow your motor court to go all the way to the house, consider well-placed containers with larger evergreens to soften the hardscape on hardscape (greenhouse) effect.’

Garden fence ideas also can come in very useful where it comes to softening a no-plant front yard scheme. Jeff Becka, of Fence Resource, praises fences as invaluable focal points for front yards, ‘providing instant curb appeal. ‘Many people think of fencing as a means to contain a pet or for providing security and privacy. However, fences are perfect for landscaping. Lower height picket fences with scallops or arches are perfect along sidewalks and walkways. They also provide a platform for mounting hanging baskets.’ 

Also, if you’ve always wanted the traditional white picket fence, ‘here’s your chance’ – it will ‘improve the look and feel of your property and landscape.’

How can I make my front yard look better without grass?

Lawn grass isn’t always necessary in a front yard, especially if the surrounding landscape already has some green interest to it. McCurry recommends imagining ‘your home was set into the woods naturally without bulldozing all of the native trees and fauna.’ If there are no surrounding trees, he advises looking ‘into your local native plant pallet’ for a green accent or two ‘if a no-lawn idea is your goal.’

In other words, you can have a good-looking front yard without grass, but if you have no plants at all and no grass, you may find that the space looks a little barren. It is advisable to have at least one tree, or a large container, to compensate for the lack of a lawn. Trees generally are much less hard work than flower beds or lawns, so once yours is established, you’ll find you’ll hardly need to do any maintenance. 

By Anna Cottrell for Real Homes©

Source: How to landscape a front yard without plants (

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