10 Farmhouse Landscaping Ideas for Adding Simple Beauty to Your Yard

Create a dreamy farmhouse landscape with these design tips and ideas.

yellow farmhouse with olive-green front door
Photo: Helen Norman

Farmhouses are the quintessential symbol of Americana with their traditional, sometimes rustic, charm and timeless aesthetic. A variety of farmhouse landscaping ideas can bring a touch of that simple beauty and utilitarian practicality to any yard. Even if your house is not technically a farmhouse design, you can still use these design elements to add appeal to your landscape, as none of these farmhouse landscaping ideas need to be exclusive to one particular theme.

01 of 10

Mellow Shades of Flowers

lush garden with purple, white, and pink flowers
Matthew Benson

In a traditional farmhouse landscape, plants accentuate the home and bring a softness to the harsher, rustic design elements. Following this train of thought and keeping with the traditional theme, farmhouse landscapes are often full of mellow, somewhat subdued hues of purple, blue, red, and pink. These muted colors keep the plants from detracting too much attention from the modest, somewhat utilitarian feel of the farmhouse.

02 of 10

Plant a Vegetable and Herb Garden

country vegetable and flower garden
Robert Cardillo

Keeping with the idea that a farmhouse should be practical and with a “useful” design aesthetic, herb and vegetable gardens are a must. Often unabashedly situated in the side yard or in full view, the herb and vegetable garden is practical and a hallmark of the farmhouse design.

03 of 10

Borrow the View

dark blue and wooden house
Adam Albright

Farms, with their large swathes of land in rural locations, have an open, natural feel, free from the constraints of urban life. To evoke a similar look and feel, plan for a landscape that accentuates natural land features and highlights large, stately specimen trees. Create lush border gardens along the perimeter of your home, pathways, and throughout the landscape to soften hardscapes.

04 of 10

Keep It Natural

black farmhouse exterior with teal door and white trim windows
Kritsada Panichgul

Working with rubber, plastic, and other manmade materials might be easier to work with and cheaper to purchase and install, but farmhouses are all about natural materials. Instead, use wood, rock, and rustic metals where necessary. Likewise, in place of plastic edging materials, opt for more natural materials or forgo the border entirely, breaking up hard boundaries and softening lines.

05 of 10

Fuller Border Gardens

Soften a Fence with This Lush Border Garden Plan
Allan Mandell

Farmhouse landscaping often features thicker, fuller border plantings with very little soil or mulch visible. Farmhouse design is all about a utilitarian and practical look, something that does not go well with lots of time-intensive mulching and trimming. Instead, fill the garden beds to the brim and allow the plants to naturally grow together, hiding bare ground and shading out weeds.

06 of 10

Embrace the Natural Look

modern cottage garden wildflowers
Dana Gallagher

As with fuller plantings, farmhouse design is typified by plants being allowed to grow naturally without heavy amounts of trimming or shaping. Instead of the prim, geometric shapes of formal gardens, allow farmhouse gardens to grow naturally while mixing textures and choosing the right-sized plants for suitable locations.

07 of 10

Keep It Simple

yellow farmhouse with olive-green front door
Helen Norman

Farmhouses are all about keeping things simple, useful, and without much fuss. Who has time for finicky landscapes when you work from sun up to sun down? To channel the traditional farmhouse ethos, keep your landscape uncluttered and free of excess. A simple garden bench functions just as well as a full patio set and while botanical diversity can be appealing, it often requires extra work to maintain and draws an excess of attention, counter to the humble feel of the classic farmhouse.

08 of 10

Think Locally

native plants garden with bird bath
Carson Downing

In the days of old, farmhouses were constructed with materials from the surrounding area. Homes were designed and built with local materials that could easily be purchased and moved onto the property. Likewise, the landscaping of a traditional farmhouse design should reflect the local flora and materials.

09 of 10

Sit a Spell

porch swing blue ceiling
Anthony Masterson

Historically, folks who spent their lives in and around farms had very little time for vacations away from their homes and partly because of this, they tended to include design elements into the landscape that allowed for peace and relaxation without having to leave home. Add a porch swing, chairs, or bench in your front yard to better be able to enjoy your garden in the comfort of your own home.

10 of 10

Try a Fire Pit

chairs and firepit patio with retaining wall
Laurie Black

Finally, no farmhouse is complete without the addition of a fire pit. Whether portable or built into the landscape, a fire pit in the garden provides a very Americana touch to the landscape. Surround your fire pit with fire-resistant plants like evergreens, sedges, or lawn for a low-maintenance and worry-free design.

For centuries, farms have been the backbone of the American way of life. And the homes that dot the farmlands throughout the country have long been an inspiration for architects and landscape designers with their sensible and efficient use of space. These farmhouse landscaping ideas will give you a starting point for planning your own dreamy oasis filled with rustic elegance.

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