Things to Consider When Planning Your Front Yard Landscape

29 May 2020

Whether you are interested in completely redesigning your landscape or simply making a few changes there are some important factors to consider before you start planting. While many people head straight to their local gardening supply store to browse the selections, creating a plan beforehand will help you chose plants that will best fit your needs and thrive in your landscape. It’s easy to go out and be tempted into buying plants that look beautiful at the garden store, only to get them home and realize they are wrong for your landscape.  Below are things to consider when planning your front yard landscape.

Know Your Yard

Think about your regional climate, the topography of your site, and your soil type when planning your landscape. Keep in mind that the specific conditions of your yard are likely to create a microclimate based on the amount and length of sun and shade exposure the area receives. Microclimates are usually broken into one of four categories: full sun, partial shade, shade, or deep shade; take note of your landscape’s microclimate when selecting plants for your landscape.

The topography of your site is important to consider as well as you plan; take note of how water drains in your landscape. The best landscape design will promote water movement away from your home towards other areas of your yard.

Themes

A theme can unify your landscape and help guide your plant and material selections. Themes can be as simple as using consistent shapes or forms throughout your yard or as complex as creating a relaxation garden or an Oriental garden.

When deciding on a theme for your yard, a good place to start is looking at the architecture of your home. Try to complement the lines and style of your home’s architecture in your yard; after all, your yard is an extension of your home.

Themes can help guide how you place and select plants, decorations, hardscapes, and structures. Are you someone who wants lots of neat, geometric shapes and structures in your landscape? Do you want softer lines and a more natural feel to your space? Do you want a landscape to include only specific colors? Questions like these will help you choose a unified theme for your garden.

Create and Link Spaces

In order to get the most out of your yard, think of it as another room, or rooms, in your home. Just as a home has well defined and carefully planned rooms, so should your landscape; using your materials wisely allows you can create different “rooms” in your landscape.

Make Your Plants Work For You

Early in your planning you should determine how your plants will function in your landscape. Plants can be used in a number of ways, they can provide you with fresh and delicious fruits and vegetables, beautiful scenery, lovely aromas, and much more.

Plants can be used as barriers to define areas within your landscape as well as identify where your landscape ends. You can use plants to create physical barriers in your landscape by blocking both views and access to an area. If you want to keep your views open, but maintain some barriers, low growing plants can be used to create implied barriers, blocking access but not the view. Correctly placed plants can also be used to alter your landscape site conditions.  Temperature, light levels, and wind are greatly affected by the trees and plants in a landscape. The noises in your landscape can be affected by what you put into the design, such as water features or bird houses, as well as any physical barriers that keep your garden insulated from noises beyond your landscape.