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Front And Backyard Landscaping Ideas To Inspire Your Next Landscape Design

Lauren NowackiJanuary 08, 2020

As a homeowner, you’ll likely make many home improvements that enhance your life and add value to your home. For many, a common place to start is with landscaping.

Implementing a new landscape design or updating what you already have doesn’t require an entire overhaul – even the smallest changes can have a big impact on the overall aesthetic of your yard.

When thinking about whether your landscaping needs a makeover, consider this analogy: Your home is one of your largest investments. The memories you make there are priceless and the improvements you make to it are your own work of art.

Your landscaping is the framework of your home, your priceless possession and work of art. You wouldn’t put the Mona Lisa in a shabby frame, would you? So why would you surround your home in a shabby, outdated landscape design?

What’s The Value Of Landscaping?

A home with a good landscape design can increase curb appeal and instill a stronger sense of pride in the appearance of your home. But that’s not all it does. It can actually provide monetary value.

Landscaping can increase the value of your home, too. According to Dr. Leonard Perry, an extension professor at the University of Vermont, a proper landscape design can add up to 14% to a home’s resale value and speed up the sale by 6 weeks.

It can also save you money by reducing energy costs throughout the year. In the summer, trees can block the sun and provide shade to the home. In the winter, bare branches can allow the sun to peek through.

Strategically placed bushes and other shrubbery can reduce heat loss by blocking cold air from getting in the home or helping insulate the foundation. Proper landscaping around the home can also provide absorption, which prevents water from collecting around the foundation, which can cause costly damage.

Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

Your front yard is the first thing people see when they pull up to your house or drive past it. It’s the first impression people may have of you as a homeowner. Luckily, there are several ways you can beautify the landscaping at the front of your house. Here are a few ideas.

Play With Color And Texture

There are a few ways to add color to your landscaping, including with plants, pots or planters and stones or pavers. When choosing new hues, consult the color wheel and think about how you want to feel when you see the outside of your home.

To feel calm and peaceful, you may want to use cool colors, like blues, grays and purples. To feel excitement and energy, you may want to implement a scheme that uses warm colors, like orange, red and yellow.

Another strategy is to use complementary colors, which are opposite each other on the color wheel. For example, red and green are complementary colors, as are orange and blue and yellow and purple.

As for texture, play with different mediums. You can do this by mixing bold, crisp or spikey plants with soft, airy or feathery plants. You could also mix in wood plant beds or benches, stone gravel or sleek, metal lawn fixtures.

When playing with color and texture, don’t forget to think about those of the home itself. You won’t want to stray too far from them.

Get Creative With Greenery

You can use greenery to add even more visual interest by filling in bare spots, adding dimension and creating a green backdrop for colors to pop from. Greenery requires less maintenance. Adding shrubs and trees to your yard can add more shade and provide more privacy.

To get creative with your greenery, consider pruning your shrubs into various topiary designs. For bare areas with tons of shade, plant hostas, which are shade plants that come in a variety of shapes and sizes and range in color from dark green to yellows and blues.

Add Tasteful Decor

You can spruce up your front yard just by adding stylish ornaments and interesting features here and there. A few examples of popular lawn decor include:

  • Bench
  • Birdbath
  • Garden statue
  • Small water feature
  • Wagon wheel
  • Windchime
  • Garden pedestal
  • Small windmill
  • Gazing ball
  • Decorative lantern

Just be careful not to go overboard. There is a fine line between tasteful and tacky. Choose one or two decorations from the list and make sure they are smaller in size.

Take Care Of Your Lawn

Wouldn’t you hate for all of these landscaping ideas to go to waste? That’s what could happen if you don’t take care of your lawn. You could have the best-looking yard on the block, but if your grass is dead, overgrown or overrun by grubs, even the best landscape design will look like a mess.

Taking care of your lawn should be a top priority. That means keeping it watered, cutting it at least once per week, weeding, raking leaves and getting rid of lawn grubs.

That may also mean cleaning up after your pet, throwing away litter and making sure your kids pick up their toys before coming inside for the day.

Backyard Landscaping Ideas

Backyards provide additional space to enjoy parts of your lifestyle outdoors. Just as there are several ways to design your front yard, there are several ways you can beautify your backyard’s landscaping and even increase its usability.

Make It Functional For Multiple Purposes

Before you start working on your backyard landscaping, brainstorm how you want to use your space. Maybe you want to use it for summer bonfires, cookouts and barbeques, or maybe you want to give your pets room to run around. Or, maybe you want to install a swimming pool, playscape or trampoline.

If your yard is big enough, you could use your backyard for multiple purposes. Once you have a few ideas, you’ll need to strategize ways to use the space to accommodate as many of those interests as possible.

Almost like a game of Tetris, you’ll need to rearrange the features to get the most use out of your space.

Upgrade Your Patio

A back patio adds usable space to your yard and tends to be on a typical home buyer’s wish list. Because of this, patios can add more value to your home.

If you already have a patio, consider adding a few accessories that will help increase its usability, like a fire pit, built-in grill or pergola. You could also add more landscaping around it to make it more attractive, block out some of the sun or add some privacy.

If you don’t have a deck, consider building one with pavers, poured and stamped concrete or wood. Just keep it in proportion to your yard. If you have a small yard, design a smaller patio so it doesn’t take up your entire space.

Design Your Dream Garden

The perfect garden is one that shows off your personality and allows you to tend to things you truly care about. The reason for your garden doesn’t have to be showing off your green thumb. Gardens are therapeutic and fun. They can help you save money and protect your home.

They can also provide a haven for wildlife, promote pollination and conserve resources. Here are a few garden ideas to consider when planning yours:

Flower garden. One of the most popular types of gardens, flower gardens are filled with colorful florals that require regular tending. These gardens can attract birds, bees and other insects, provide free sources of lovely summer flower bouquets and make your yard smell fresh and flowery while adding pops of color.

Fruit and vegetable garden. These gardens allow you to grow your own produce, which saves you money at the grocery store. With a fruit and vegetable garden, you won’t have to worry about salmonella outbreaks or harmful pesticides getting into your body from your produce. Just beware of hungry animals who’ll use your garden as their own produce aisle, too.

Herb garden. This type of garden can also save you money because herbs can be pricey at the grocery store and you often have to buy a bunch when you only need a pinch. Herbs aren’t just easy to grow; they also make your yard smell good and your food taste even better.

Butterfly garden. One of the most beautiful types of gardens, butterfly gardens are filled with vivid florals and colorful butterflies. These gardens are meant to be a sanctuary for butterflies, offering a place to feed, rest and lay eggs. These spaces require plenty of sunlight and plants that provide shelter, water and food for butterflies and caterpillars.

Water garden. Also known as aquatic gardens, water gardens typically contain a water feature that houses various types of aquatic plants. These gardens require a water source, like a pond, pool or fountain and floating, submerged or marginal plants. Water gardens often include fish, snails or turtles.

Fairy garden. These playful gardens bring magic for all ages and require little maintenance once completed. Made to house fairies, these gardens are filled with small plants, gnomes, fairies and tiny homes for them to live in. They often include moss, sea glass or stones, and small, glittery accessories. These are great gardens for small spaces.

Rain garden. This type of garden is effective in diverting water from your home. It helps collect water runoff and filter it back into the ground. This type of garden consists of layers of mulch and soil and native plants that tolerate water and are used to the local soil. Your yard should slope away from your home and into the rain garden, located at least 10 feet away from the house.

Depending on what type of garden you choose for your home, you’ll need to think about your space and whether it’s fit for the type of garden you want for your home. Where is the plot of land located? How much sunlight does it get? How much room do you have? What type of soil does it have?

Create A Backyard Getaway

If you have a shed or other structure, use it for a backyard getaway. There are several ways to utilize a small structure by adding a fresh coat of paint to the outside and a little interior decorating to the inside.

Create a reading nook, artist’s studio, meditation space or game room. If you don’t already have a structure in place, you can buy a kit or prefab shed at home improvement stores or online shops.

How To Execute Your Landscape Design

There are many components of landscaping that can be achieved in a DIY fashion. However, some projects call for skilled professionals. Any projects that involve deep digging, permits, special tools and equipment and know-how will require you to hire the pros.

Landscaping can be a simple home improvement project that can add value to your home, enhance your curb appeal and become a beloved hobby for you and your family. While bigger projects may require the help of a professional, there are several DIY projects you can take on that make a big difference.

Tap into your creative side and see how you can transform your front yard and backyard landscaping into something you’ll love for years to come.

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    Lauren Nowacki

    Lauren Nowacki is a staff writer specializing in personal finance, homeownership and the mortgage industry. She has a B.A. in Communications and has worked as a writer and editor for various publications in Philadelphia, Chicago and Metro Detroit.