Design Ideas for Urban Front Yards
Front yards are the most underutilized space on our properties. While the backyard is often the private retreat for family and friends, front yards have a unique social component. Front yards are great spaces for raingardens. A well-designed raingarden can be a great “main attraction” with sitting spaces, paths and plantings organized around it. Using a shortgrass as the main plant component can create a low-maintenance meadow that is beautiful and has high wildlife value. This will be a great stopping over point for birds, bees and butterflies. This type of planting works great for slopes – a feature of many front yards.
We like to get away from a row of plants along the front of the house – what we call a “front foundation planting.” Instead we like to layer plants that offer multiple seasons of interest. A little two-chair gravel area can be a landing pad to enjoy the front yard, or a well-chosen sculpture can offer just the right personal touch to this space where people first see and enter your home.