“So much of the time, ideas for lawns are really designed for larger yards. Here are some special ideas for smaller yards!”
Denise Buck & Ed Johnson – DC Metro Realty Team
Just like the first impression you make when you meet someone new, your front yard introduces you and your home to first-time visitors. You want the landscape to look appealing and express your style even if the area in front of your home is small.
Whether your house is located close to the street or it’s in a subdivision with a small rectangular plot in front, you have a myriad of ways to create the impact you desire.
1. Nix the Lawn
Instead of mowing a small parcel every week in the summer, substitute with lush, tall ornamental grasses alternating with perennial flowers and small trees just inside your fence line. Try feather reed grass, fountain grass, switchgrass, purple millet or fiber optic grass, all of which require little maintenance.
(Credit: JPL Designs/Shutterstock)
2. Install a Path
Create a walkway with sliced wood, pavers or stepping stones. Surround the short trail with brightly colored perennials and place a birdbath, chairs, small bench or other focal point at the end of the path. You can also design the same type of walkway, only let it lead to your front door.
3. Plant Vegetables
To have a bounty of food throughout the year, make the entire yard into a vegetable and herb garden. Or, use a combination of pots and hanging planters for your bounty and a fenced-off area surrounded by a white or other colored low picket fence.
4. Create a Desert ‘Scape
You can make a small patch of yard look bigger by including a few well-chosen attractive elements. Add cacti of varying heights amid light or dark gravel. When the cacti bloom you’ll want the colors to contrast with the gravel. Other low-growing succulents easily accessorize small front yards, and work especially well in arid regions.
5. Fill in With Ornaments
Instead of buying plants that require lots of attention and may be hard to grow, fill in the landscaping with garden ornaments. Yard art comes in every size and shape imaginable from gnomes to fake decorative rocks where you can hide an extra house key. Find what appeals to you and reveals your personality.
6. Fashion an Alcove
Showcase a small area of the yard with a pergola, water fountain, koi pond or bench where you can read in the shade. This gives a perception of depth and makes the location both charming and functional.
(Credit: Natalia Bratslavsky/Shutterstock)
7. Landscape With Planters and Baskets
Add depth and an illusion of more space by choosing planters of different heights, and by also using platforms under the pots. Line a sidewalk or walkway with different types of containers like wrought iron, ceramic and baskets. Place some color-producing plants and some greenery in the pots for a no-hassle way to make your front yard your own.
(Credit: 1000 Words/Shutterstock)
8. Give Your Garden a Zen Spin
An Zen-inspired yard equates with minimalist and clean lines. With fewer plantings required, mid-sized evergreens work well in the back and dwarf varieties of trees in the front. Potted bonsai trees and landscaping rocks disbursed throughout the dwarfs increase the Zen look. Add mulch, which keeps down the unwanted weeds, saves water and decreases the need for upkeep.
9. Edge with Ornamental Fencing
Keep your design simple by erecting a low fence around a tiny yard. That way your home appears farther from the street than it really is. Then, plant colorful perennials and annuals that bloom at different times of the year so you almost always have bursts of color welcoming visitors to your home.
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