Front yard design ideas, inspiration & pictures

Creating your front yard or garden

The appearance of a garden is crucial, seeing as it is the first impression others have of your house. The effect one wishes to achieve with this outdoor space is determined by the place, size and other design facets of the house.

·         When planning your ideal front yard, don’t design it around one particular season – opt for a variety of summer- and winter-blooming flowers mixed with a few evergreens to ensure a fabulous garden all year round.

·         Is there a driveway or carport in your front yard? Ensure it looks as neat as possible, which means creating patterns in the paving or using materials that complement your garden and house’s façade.

·         Fences are vital to reinforce boundaries and create a sense of privacy. And remember that it might take a long time for trees and bushes to grow, so don’t rely on them from the start to keep nosy neighbouring eyes at bay.

·         Your front path should be the shortest possible distance from security gate/fence to front door. Even though a long, curving path can look exquisite, people in a hurry might opt for the shortest route and trample on your lawn or flowers.

·         Consider creating a small structure for garbage bins, or storing them in your garden shed, as rubbish bins and bags can put a damper on even the most beautiful yard/garden.

·         Keep maintenance in mind. Watering and preening a garden every day might sound doable at the beginning, but is it really practical? If you aren’t green-fingered, rather opt for gravel instead of grass and use plants that require little maintenance.

·         Ensure your yard meets local laws and conforms to all boundary regulations.

What are the best plants for a front yard?

There are a multitude of different gardening ideas, for front- and rear yards, to ensure a striking outdoor space. However, one needs to be practical as well, and with the recent droughts in South Africa, many homeowners have become more savvy in the way they use water around their homes, including their gardens. And even though we all want to achieve visual splendour with gardens that incorporate a variety of trees, shrubs, flowers and plants, at the end of the day one needs to think logically about what is planted in a garden or yard, regardless of whether it’s at the front or back of the house.

Groundcovers are an excellent option to cover the soil and help to conserve water by reducing evaporation; you can also reduce the size of your lawn and replace the grassy areas with shrubs and groundcovers that require less water. And let’s not forget about the style power of turf/artificial grass.

When it comes to indigenous plants, the following species are well worth considering, as they grow remarkably well in the South African climate while also providing a colourful and welcoming look:

·         Aptenia cordifolia

·         Dietes spp. (wild iris)

·         Tulbaghia violacea (pink agapanthus, very popular with gardeners and landscape architects around the country)

·         Agapanthus praecox (“bloulelie”)

·         Plectranthus neochilus

·         Aloe spp.

·         Strelitzia reginae (once established, it can withstand long dry spells and can be grown in both sun and shade)

·         Chlorophytum comosum (spider- or airplane plant, and can be used to good effect to cover bare soil in semi-shaded conditions).

Including parking in your front yard

If you have the space, it can be a great idea to include a driveway or parking area in your front yard, especially for security reasons. Many modern homes have cement driveways, a look that can be enhanced dramatically via rocks, gravel, plants and other decorative elements.

Remember that your parking space doesn’t have to consist solely of concrete; oversized square pavers can be laid with small gaps in-between and be filled with grass or even small pebbles. Also keep in mind shade from our harsh South African sun, such as an overhang for the driveway, trees, etc..

And if you have a circular driveway, make the centre a focal point with a water feature or beautifully landscaped garden complete with colourful flowers.  

Let homify help

In addition to providing lush inspiration for gardens (and kitchens and bathrooms and houses etc.), homify also presents a huge collection of professionals working in a myriad of different fields, including seasoned gardeners and landscape architects. Allow these pros to turn your dream front yard into reality by helping you with the perfect layout, selecting the right materials for pathways and driveways, mixing and matching the various elements such as plants and flowers, and ensuring that the finished design of your front garden complements the overall look of your home.