Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Designing that perfect front yard garden

First impressions count most - and it is the front yard that gives the first impression of your home. It is what we­lcomes you home at night and sends you on your way in the morning. And it plays the dual roles of welcoming visitors while keeping out intruders, and letting you see the surrounding neighborhood while maintaining privacy.

Front yards vary tremendously in size: from pocket handkerchief gardens squeezed under the front window to a sweep­ing landscape where the house is set well back. Most front yards have to be functional as well as attractive, because they may need to accommodate a car as well as provide easy access to and from the house and garage.

A well-designed front yard should look good all year round with the minimum of maintenance. The layout should be based on simple but effective groupings of trees and shrubs and, if most of the smaller plants are evergreens with naturally compact, neat habits, the garden will still be inviting in winter. Remember, tools are often located in a shed in the back yard - so avoid features that need specialist equipment.

A densely planted front yard will help screen the front of the house from the street and create a pleasant outlook from within. With thick foliage instead of exposed earth, weeds are shaded out.

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