Wow factor needed for front landscaping

by Natasha Allison
(Napanee, Ontario, Canada)

Front of house

Front of house

I'm having trouble on what to do with my mother's front yard. The front door is not used as they use the side door for a front door. I had planned to re-stain the front wood door and give the screen metal door and update as well. So I guess what I'm trying to ask is what would you do in this case for making the front of the home look amazing as people drive by? I'm looking for that wow factor!


Hi Natasha,
I would start with removing the existing plant material. What's there is very overgrown and is detracting from the house. Sometimes it's difficult to take a stab at that, but it really will help a lot.

I would then place some medium sized landscape trees at each corner to frame the house. These can be a Dogwood, Birch, Star Magnolia, or you can even use a group of three Lilacs.

I Would then place another pretty shrub near the front door...perhaps a Butterfly Bush or one of the other tree suggestions. Use a staggered row of evergreen shrubs against the house and place lots of colorful perennials in front. Plant the perennials in groups for maximum impact. For example, 5 Daylily, 3 Lavender 'Hidcote", 7 Coneflower, etc.

Make the bedline and out to create flowing interest. Start with a large sweeping curve at the left corner,t hen bring the bed in, then out again to end at the area of the front door. Here are some pages to look at to get some plant material ideas:

Landscaping Ideas - section on Front Foundation Plantings

Plants For Landscaping

Perennial Flowers

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Landscaping Mulch
by: Susan

I hate to say this but I intensely dislike red mulch. It's very unnatural looking. I prefer hardwood shredded bark mulch which is a rich dark brown color. You really want your plants to shine, not the mulch.

Your window boxes could be painted black or another interesting color, such as a nice dark blue green which would look pretty with the brick.

Shutters and window boxes?
by: Natasha Allison

Okay perfect. I was also thinking about painting the window shutters black, as they are white now, but I am stuck on what color to paint the 2 brown window boxes. The 2 tall tress are coming out and replacing with some smaller shrubs and the flower beds built up with dirt and covered with red cedar chips for color. What do you think about this?

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