Good Plants for Landscaping a Front Yard

If your backyard is the place where you relax, play develop vegetables, your front lawn is the window on the planet and represents your very best face to the world. “Curb appeal,” the phrase real estate professionals use to describe an attractive front lawn, applies to a welcoming landscape that always looks its best when seen from the street. Landscape your front lawn to provide year old curb appeal with easy-to-maintain, distinctive plants.


Shrubs must soften the corners of the house and form hedges to define the lawn. Evergreens and front doors flanked with arborvitae can mask bases, far as Victorian ladies covered their table legs, but voluminous shrubs finally engulf a house, obscuring the residents’ perspective of the planet. Mix compact evergreen native junipers (Juniperus spp.) Or camellias (Camellia sinensis or C. sasanqua) using dramatic deciduous blue hibiscus (Alyogyne huegelii) or late spring-blooming spice bushes (Calycanthus occidentalis). Define a edge with shade-tolerant, summer-blooming oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) or sun-loving, spring-blooming lilacs (Syringa spp.) Plant several different shrubs in groups of three to add variety to shrub borders.


Front lawns full of blossoms can make a lawn look cluttered and small, but borders can make it look well-tended. Add well-behaved shrubby perennials like lavender (Lavendula spp.) In circles to add variety and depth to a border established by shrubs. A border of shrub roses (Rosa spp.) , also called landscaping roses, completes the cottage impression of a colonial-style house when planted along a picket fence. Northern California native rose meadowsweet (Spirea splendens var. Splendens) is a drought-tolerant spirea that produces rosy blossoms over shiny green leaves throughout the summer.


Pick perennials that punctuate rather than just fill space. They have to “pop” to be able to add curb appeal. Whether planted in borders or across the front walk, plants must lead the eye toward the door. Select plants like hostas (Hostas spp.) and daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.) That create an architectural accent with dramatic foliage. Plant bulbs, such as daffodil (Narcissus spp.) and iris (Iris spp.) In a few big, odd-numbered clumps rather than spread out so they provide emphasis. Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) and purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) also rise in neat clumps and provide long-lasting blooms.

Ground Cover

Lawns take a beating in dry Mediterranean climates — so much so that artificial grass is easily accessible to homeowners who desire a perfect-looking lawn. Others plant grasses like creeping red fescue (Festuca rubra var. littoralis or F. rubra var. rubra), hard fescue (F. longifolia var. Brevipila) or chewings fescue (F. rubra ssp. Fallax commutate) — slow-growing, drought-tolerant varieties which are easy to keep looking neat. Low-growing plants like Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) and creeping thyme (Thymus “Elfin”) create uneven lawns for front lawns with minimal foot traffic. Native options for ground cover include Point Reyes ceanothius (Ceanothius gloriosus var. gloriosus), Little Sur manzanita (Arctostaphylos edmundsii ‘Carmel Sur’) or pinemat manzanita (A. nevadensis).

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