Small Front Yard Landscaping

Before I give you some great things you can do with small front yard landscaping, I would like to say that there are some really good points about small spaces.

Here are some reasons that you should actually feel lucky to have this type of yard!

  • They are less expensive to landscape.
  • There is definitely less upkeep and maintenance.
  • Less hardscape is used for a driveway and walkway. (This is good for the environment.)
  • Less lighting is needed.
  • It can be made to look very lush since things are more contained rather than spread out.

So now that you are feeling oh so lucky, let's get started with some tips to make your yard a showplace!


plantings for small yards

As mentioned and is quite obvious, less plants are needed for small front yard landscaping. If you have small areas to plant, I understand that you want to get as much color in as possible and also that you still probably want a nice variety of plants.

That's fine, but still be careful not to add to many of "one of this and one of that".

Still group varieties, just change them in different areas. See my page on foundation plantings

Sitting Areas

There isn't any reason why you can't enjoy relaxing in your front yard too. You can create a courtyard. What makes it feel like this? Enclosure. You an do this by adding a wall, fencing or dense shrubbery.

This can be an enlarged paved area just outside your front door. It can even be off to one of the sides a bit. If you like the idea of a wall, make it into a seat wall so that it serves a purpose too!

Privacy for the Small Front Yard

narrow trees for privacy in tight spaces

Privacy will be not difficult to attain since you will be closer to the property borders than you would be in a larger yard.

would use tall evergreen shrubs or trees of all one kind. Where you can create variety is by adding perennials in front.

Perennials will take up less room than most shrubs.

Group the perennials, but alter the groups to create all season color.

Paved Areas

paving for front yards can be eye catching

For small yards, most of the time driveways and often even walkways are more linear than curved since curves need more room. You can sometime get away with a slight curve for walks. For walkways, you might be able to use a more expensive paving material since the square footage will not be that large. (See? I told you there were advantages of having small yards!)

A walkway can lead from the driveway to the front door. However, nice charm is created by having one to the street. You can create straight planting beds on either side, which can be formal with low hedges, a combination of shrubs and perennials, or just have loose plantings with curved beds. The latter will add some curvature to your design even though the walkway may be straight.

Fences - Arbors - Gates

a simple arbor makes a statement

You also might consider fencing around your yard or even just along the front.

This can be another charming small front yard landscaping feature, particularly if you add a arbor and/or gate.

Focal Points to Add Interest

a pretty bird bath set in the planting bed

Add a focal point in various places.

  • As you walk up to your front door. Tuck a sculpture, old urn, or small fountain in either your foundation planting or a bed on the other side of your walkway.
  • Add a pretty ornamental tree in your yard to be viewed out your dining room or living room window. Don't center it directly. It's better to set it off to the side slightly. It will look more natural

And some more ideas.......

Be Green!

I will admit that I like some lawn. There is something about it that breaks up plantings and provides a nice look. It might be the change in texture or the serenity of a mass of green color.

  • However, that is not to say you cannot create a mowless lawn! I'll bet that concept sounds nice! This type of small front yard landscaping is made up of plantings, perhaps some rocks or boulders, stone paths, etc. This is not so easy to do with large properties but much easier to achieve with small front yards.
  • Another current trend is edible landscaping! It does not have to be an entire front made up of edible plants, but it can if you like! More practical is a mix of plants with some edibles included. Blueberry bushes, fruit trees, and herbs such as chives or parsley are just some examples. Clover lawns are something else to think about as they have many assets.

Planned Communities

Many planned communities have small yards. In addition, there are rules and regulations to follow. So make sure you know what they are before you begin any landscaping. There are often setback requirements for plants and fencing, plant height maximums, and some even require native plants. So be sure to check this out if you live in one of these places.

For more small front yard landscaping ideas, see my ebook Designing Front Yards with great tips and ideas.

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