7 Fantastic Structures for an Attractive Front Yard

Your front lawn is the transition out of the rest of your neighborhood into the inside of your home, so its attributes are important. It is also exactly what your neighbors see when they are outside in their own yards, what passersby consider when they drive by and, most important, the first thing you see when you come home.

Large, structural pieces play an integral part in the way the front lawn is organized and laid out, so give them a idea for an entrance that works best for you.

Nancy Van Natta Associates

1. Arbors. There’s something quite magical and quaint about a front-yard arbor. It not only says, “Welcome”; it seems to shout, “Come on in and visit for a short time!” Arbors can accent a cottage, but they can set off a more house — it is all in the materials. A rose-topped white lattice appears quite traditional, while angular steel with clipped evergreen ivy adds a cool, contemporary vibe. The arbor and plant substance provide a one-two punch.

Tip: Resist the need to overplant your own arbor — assess the size of the vine you plan to grow on plant and it accordingly. If you are in love with a more diminutive vine, you might have to plant one on both sides of the arbor, however only plant one if it is more competitive, like a 20-footer. Overplanting your arbor may get you faster coverage, but ultimately you might create maintenance issues or plant health issues, or worse, you might weaken the structural integrity of your arbor.

Company & Woodburn Landscape Architecture

2. Fences. Not each front lawn wants a fence, but sometimes it can help to make a separation between the sidewalk and the garden. Front-yard fences should not be the exact same type of privacy fence as in a garden; they need to be more open and friendlier, setting off your garden rather than sealing off it.

Keep the fencing non, about 3 to 4 ft tall. This way your neighbors could see in without feeling as though they can just walk onto your property. Aim for a somewhat friendly and open feel, as tall fences state, “Keep out” Choose classic white pickets, rustic split-rail fencing or contemporary horizontal board fencing — just make certain to choose a design that puts off the architecture of your home.

Core Development Group, Inc..

3. Gates. Gates can be constructed to a fence to signal your visitors where to enter, or they can be inserted into an arbor for a magical effect. A well-placed and thoughtfully constructed gate places off the entrance while developing a little bit of separation from the rest of the planet. Gates offer a transition from one space to another while not a necessity generally.

Tip:Choose your gate hardware sensibly — gate latches that are too hard for people to readily open are frustrating, and abandon family and buddies waiting patiently on the sidewalk till you come to rescue them.

More guides to fences and gates

Personal Garden Coach

4. Artwork. Why should art be relegated to the yard? And by art, I really don’t mean little, kitschy pieces you select up at the craft shop — I suggest honest-to-goodness artisan-crafted pieces. Tuck in some that are created to withstand the elements, like these magnificent glass curlicues. Also search for unique pieces like framed prints that are created for outdoor display, intriguing wood pieces that begin conversations and forged steel artwork that could stand alone from the middle of your front yard.

Be sure that your art is acceptable for outside and can withstand wind, rain and sun. Do not put glass pieces underneath large trees that could have falling branches, and put expensive art closer to the home and fasten it properly to avoid theft.

Allan Malouf Studio

5. Statues. Statues go under the heading of art as well, clearly, but they have a more powerful presence than many other artwork pieces do. Statues lend a feeling of timelessness and elegance to a garden, whether they’re custom made or prefabricated and readily available.

Statues ought to be kept to a minimum in most front yards — just one or two well-placed pieces, for example — in order not to overwhelm or crowd the space with a lot of important pieces. Use evergreen plant material to make a traditional background and don’t hesitate to add colorful flowers around the foundation to set off it.

Tip: A statue can be quite heavy. Make sure to know where it’s going before having it delivered and choose the location sensibly, as it will be hard to proceed after it’s placed.

Get the puzzle of a Gothic garden for yourself

De Santana Handcarved Stone

6. Fountains. Water attributes produce a sensory experience for you and your visitors that is hard to make in any other manner: the sound of trickling or splashing, the movement of falling water as well as the visual coolness that water supplies to a hot day. Fountains could be grand “look at me” attributes or out-of-the-way beams tucked into a garden, waiting to be found.

Ensure your fountain is the appropriate size and ratio to your home and front lawn. I’ve seen many postage-stamp yards dwarfed by enormous three-tiered fountains. If your lawn and home are on the other hand, ensure your fountain is small as well.

35 Fabulous Fountains

Elemental Design Group

7. Retaining walls. If you have a front lawn with a steep incline, you might have to put in some retaining walls or terraces to make it even more accessible and to keep soil erosion to a minimum. Retaining walls could be a set of low walls, like those shown here, to produce a gentle step-down impact, and can be reached from a variety of eye-catching materials. Rock cut into stackable blocks has a very clean look, while bigger boulders tucked into the soil look more casual and cottage-y. Steel retaining walls are more contemporary and possess a rustic elegance.

In case your front lawn requires tall retaining walls, speak to your regional authorities about the city code — in most areas you will need a structural engineer to sign off on any wall that is taller than 3 feet. These types of walls are not DIY jobs, as they need to retain heavy quantities of soil; they ought to be assembled by seasoned professionals.

See how steel retaining walls changed a steep front lawn (includes video)

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