6 Surprising Features Found in Front Yards

Fire, water, edibles and wildlife habitats are just a few of the elements you can consider adding to your entryway landscape

Our approach to front yard design can get stuck in a rut — lawn, front walk, a few foundation plants, and we’re done. But when you don’t have a bunch of homeowners association rules or local codes holding you back, there is so much more your front yard can be, and so much more it can do for the environment. Whether you want to attract your favorite birds, gather with friends or grow your own food, don’t get hemmed in out back. Instead, take it all the way out to the street.

1. A wildlife habitat. This Houston front yard doesn’t contain a blade of lawn grass. Instead, trees, shrubs, ground covers, perennials and evergreens make up this bungalow’s lush and fragrant front yard. A path and gathering area are also part of the plan. Owner and ardent gardener David Morello changes the color palette in the garden with annuals that he plants seasonally.

Find a Local Pro to Maintain Your Yard

David Morello Garden Enterprises, Inc., original photo on Houzz
2. A shade garden. The approach to this Oregon home has a magical woodland view thanks to a grove of Japanese snowbell trees plus a mix of textures and colors, including ferns, Japanese maples, barrenwort and fragrant sweet box.


Samuel H. Williamson Associates, original photo on Houzz

3. A piece of agricultural history. At this farmhouse in Washington’s Skagit Valley, the designers repurposed an old cow water trough from the site to become a pleasing garden feature. The trough is a casual element in a front yard that has a formal axial plan. 

Be Inspired By More Farmhouse Designs

Lankford Associates Landscape Architects, original photo on Houzz

4. A kitchen garden. More often seen at the rear of a house, a kitchen garden here is proudly displayed in front. While the picket fence is an expected touch in this Cape Cod’s front yard, raised planters add a more contemporary twist. 

Nilsen Landscape Design, LLC, original photo on Houzz

5. Veggie-filled containers and a moss-covered bird bath. Curb alert! These edibles are growing in the parking strip between the sidewalk and the street. Raised beds protect crops like lettuce, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, carrots, onions, kale and parsley from dogs. Adjacent pollinator beds attract the insects and birds the plants need for help with pollination, and the basalt dish rock provides water for the critters.

Welcome Edibles Into the Front Yard for Fresh Food and More

Erin Lau Landscape Design – Seattle, original photo on Houzz

6. A mascot. This charming sculpture made of found objects welcomes all those who approach this northern Virginia lake house. The bird serves as a whimsical mascot for the contemporary home. 

Moore Architects, PC, original photo on Houzz

Categories: Gardening & Landscape, Outdoor Spaces