Experts and BHG readers answer.
What can I do to spruce up the front yard?
The sky's the limit when it comes to possibilities for adding pizzazz to a front yard. Your budget and personal preferences will guide your final result. Knowing where to start is often a hurdle. Here are some steps to consider. Know the rules. Check with your city or subdivision for ordinances regarding front-yard plantings and structures. For example, some municipalities prohibit plantings on the utility strip between the sidewalk and street. If you live in an area without sidewalks, the strip abutting the street might be public land. Seek professional advice.
One option is to start with a professionally drawn landscape plan. Many landscapers charge a small fee for this if you do the work yourself. You won't pay separately for a plan if you're hiring a landscaper to design and install the hardscaping and plants, though.
Build wonderful walkways. Look at the walkway from the street to your front door. Just changing a straight walk to a curving one and adding plantings can transform the whole look of a yard. Curved pathways made of stone or brick are hot items in today's market.
Add hardscape features. Consider installing retaining walls, landscape lighting, and archways or pergolas. Keep them simple, and use materials that are reliable, require little maintenance, and compatible with the look of your home. Include fine touches. An easy way to add appeal is to put in window boxes or containers near doors or windows. Painting a front door or garden bench also contributes to the look of the landscape without costing much.