Landscaping a front yard can be a huge project or a bunch of smaller ones. The trick is to keep it simple so that being overwhelmed does not force you stop mid-way. Worse than a yard that needs improvements is a yard that has been stopped in the middle of a project since everything looks halfway done and there are supplies lying here and there. Listing, discussion and planning is important in a landscaping project. Without this, someone in the family may have visions of the Mediterranean while someone else is picturing a rock garden.
Ideas – Start by visiting home improvement stores, looking up online sites, visiting local nurseries and browsing libraries and bookstores to get some ideas. Driving through some neighborhoods will also give you landscaping ideas. Is it the trimmed bushes and flowers all in a row that catch your eye or is it the gardens that seem carefree and slightly wild? What about things like rocks, gravel, pebbles and flagstone? Monochromatic or bursting with color? Somber and classical or whimsical and fun? These are the kinds of things to look out for in terms of ideas. Gardening is popular and bookstores have entire sections devoted to landscaping as well as rows of gardening magazines.
Budget – Coming up with a budget for a landscaping project is not as hard as it seems. First, decide how much money can be spent. Then visit home improvement stores, nurseries, look up online sites and talk to other gardeners to get some ideas on pricing. Many places will offer things like bulk pricing, free shipping or free home delivery so make sure to ask. Some areas have places people can visit where leftover building materials can be purchased for a fragment of the normal cost. Things like rocks, gravel, pebbles and flagstone are good buys here.
Small Projects – Some people do not want to take on a huge project. A smaller project, such as the curb, driveway or around a mailbox is enough to make a statement. These are the first things one sees when arriving at a house and are enough to perk up the front yard. Curb landscaping can include medium shrubs with shorter flowers in front, the driveway can be lined with attractive rocks on either side and the area around the mailbox can be framed with flowers. Another idea, if there are trees in the front yard, is to ring the trees with flowers or fresh mulch. This gives the tree and the lawn a manicured look.
Large Projects – Large projects take more money and more time but greatly impact the house. This can include putting in a whole new lawn and planting some trees, making part of the yard a showpiece by planting a multitude of bushes and flowers, ringing the area with large river rocks and placing a fountain in the center, creating a seating area with benches, small tables and a bamboo plants screening the area for a secret garden look, putting in a koi pond or building a gazebo.
Hiring Out or Do It Yourself? – This is a question of funds as well as style. Just because the money is there does not mean one has to hire a landscaping crew to bring your vision to life. Some people find it much more rewarding to design and make the project themselves. On the other hand, if you are not the outdoor type, maybe by hiring out and appreciating the results you will find that you really do like the outdoors.