Your front yard can say a lot about you, and it’s likely the very first impression that you’ll make on the people who come to visit your home. This means your front yard design allows you the perfect opportunity to make an impression that lasts. How you choose to design and develop your front yard can compliment your house’s existing features and even add new style where your land has sat still and stagnant before.
Designing Before Digging
Beyond making sure that the design themes remain fairly cohesive, there’s no limit for how detailed you can get with your front yard landscaping. By using rocks, trees, and various options for grasses, you’ll be able to customize your front yard in a way that is unique to your liking.
Your front yard is a great place to start with your overall landscaping design, as it’s the area of your property that can most reflect and inspire the look you have in mind for the rest of your home. For instance, traditional colonial homes in New England would likely look better with an elegant, yet traditional row of rose bushes out front, lining the walkway. Meanwhile, a more modern and trimmed set of spiral hedge bushes would look far nicer in front of an Art Deco style home. It all comes down to basic design style and preference, so deciding what yours is will always be an important first step.
While we’d all love to get our ideal yard instantly pulled together by simply snapping our fingers, it just doesn’t work that way. We can imagine what we’d like our property to look like all we want, but at the end of the day, the property and its features are sometimes set in stone...literally! Thanks to excavating that can be changed.
Excavating is when your contractor is able to dig down or pile up the earth that you’ll be using to shape the property to your liking. You can decrease or increase the “grade” or level where the dirt sits. Before this phase, you’ll want to consider what features already exist on your property. What features are good to stay and what needs to be removed? Rocks can be both a help and a hindrance to your landscaping efforts, and deciding what to do with the ones currently on your property can sometimes get tricky.
Landscaping With Rocks
Rocks sound simple. They also sound cheap. Most of the time when it comes to landscaping, rocks are neither cheap nor simple. It’s pretty clear to see in nature that rocks naturally come in many sizes, but getting them to the specific size you’d prefer takes work. How you creatively use those rocks among your landscaping is entirely up to you.
If there are big rocks left over on your property from blasting or digging up the earth during construction, then they can be utilized and shown off as features on your property. Some people like to design entire beautiful year-round gardens at the base of boulders on their property. In those cases, the rocks are being used to blend the rest of the manmade design into the natural realm.
Sometimes big rocks have to be removed because they have the potential to cause harm by falling. They may also just be in the way of your bigger landscaping goals. When you work with an expert landscape designer, you can pick and choose how you’d like to use rocks or to leave them where they are.
Smaller rocks are obviously the byproduct of much bigger rocks. The process of crushing rock down to lovely stone you can use in your yard requires heavy industrial machinery. For this reason, various types of crushed stone can get costly if you’re using a lot, selling at about $40-$50 per yard on average. Using stone could be a great alternative to mulch or grass in areas that you’d rather not pull too many weeds from. It also makes for great walkways.
Landscaping With Trees
Trees have a similar relationship as rocks do to your front yard: some people love them and some people just want to uproot them and start fresh. Your yard may already have trees established with deep roots or you may be looking to plant baby saplings. No matter what kind of work you’d like done, you have to consider how trees will affect your overall front yard landscape.
Trees can be beautiful, but they can also come crashing down on your home. Keep in mind that every tree requires some level of care or maintenance, especially after strong winds from gusting storms or heavy snowfall. The size of your trees is also important to keep in mind, as trees will likely grow, but your property probably won’t. That is, unless if you decide to buy some neighboring properties in your near future.
For every tree you keep or plant, you’ll be raking leaves and trimming branches. While you can always hire a professional to care for your trees and limb them up when necessary, it is an additional expense you’ll need to keep in mind.
Big trees can add shade and privacy to your front yard. Some people would prefer their front yard is hidden behind shady green coverage. Others like to use trees as central features amid their dark and earthy garden plots.
Trees that already exist on your lot can be entirely removed if you’d like, but that will vary in cost depending upon how many trees you’re removing and how large they are. How trees are taken down on your property has everything to do with how much space you’re working with. Large machinery can be trucked in, or your landscaper may need to get back to lumberjack basics with chainsaws or hand saws/axes if the area is tight quartered.
Even after the limbs and the main body of the tree are removed, you’ll still have to get the stump ground down if you actually want to plant anything on the earth that your tree has been occupying.
Planting Your Grass
You’ll have so many options to customize your lawn to match your freshly manicured landscape and hardscaping. Once the bare bones are laid out, it’s time to fill it all in with greenery and color.
If you prefer to go with sod for your grass coverage, then you can roll out the pre-grown patches it comes in right on top of your base soil, effectively giving you an instant lawn. This makes for less wait time for seeds to get growing. It is best to lay sod out in the fall or spring, and it can also be used to stop soil erosion and save you from having to prepare any soil for seeds.
If you’d prefer to go with traditional seeds, you’ll have better options for customizing what kind of grass you’d like to grow. There are different kinds of grass that perform better in warmer or cooler climates. In New England, most grass grown can withstand a range of environments but becomes dormant in both the cold winter and intense heat of the summer. Our grass grows longer in the spring and autumn. Keep this in mind if you’re going to need to do a lot of mowing during those seasons.
How much greenery you want is based on your preference. Some people love traditional large lawns of green, while others like a yard with hardscapes that get more use out of their space. If you’re struggling with any phase of your landscaping or hardscaping plans, you can always contact a Sheridan Landscaping expert for a consultation or an estimate at (774) 413-5012.