Plants for Front Yard Landscaping

Front yard landscaping shouldn't simply compliment a home's exterior and draw guests in, but be a reflection of the homeowners themselves, according to the University of Missouri Extension. Choose plants that will welcome visitors and guide them to the front door with their placement. Cultivate attractive and fragrant varieties for a multi-sensory experience. Grow plants that you love and that will be visually appealing at different times of the year.

Beautyberry

This deciduous shrub is hardy to USDA zones 6 to 10. It grows up to 8 feet tall and is prized for its varied color most of the year. It has a loose form, but tiny lavender flowers bloom in the spring, and bright purple, magenta or white berry clusters appear in the fall. It is drought tolerant once it becomes established. Grow this shrub in well-drained soil and in partial shade or full sun, the latter of which will turn the leaves yellowish-green in the fall.

Japanese Maple

Cultivate a dwarf variety of this graceful tree for visual interest rather than shade. Landscapers favor this plant for its fine, lacy foliage and twisting growth habit. The star-shaped leaves range in color from bright yellow to orange and red in the fall, and during the growing season the leaves are green or red tinged. It is hardy to USDA zones 5 to 8. Grow this tree in part shade or shade closer to the house, and in soil that is slightly acidic. Moderately prune the tree to the desired size and shape; this species is also used for bonsai.

Birch Tree

The striking bark and delicate foliage on birch trees makes them attractive front yard additions. Gray birches have smooth white bark while river and red birches feature salmon-colored, peeling bark. Birch trees can live up to 50 years if the right planting steps are followed. Place them in an area where their leaves will receive full sun, where the soil generally remains moist and cool, where the soil drains well and where their shallow roots and branches will not disturb structures like sidewalks and overhead wires. The U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests planting them on the east or north sides of homes.

Impatiens

Cultivate impatiens in front porch containers and around some trees and bushes for hints of color. The University of Missouri Extension advises using annual flowers such as impatiens, along with perennials and bulbs, in very limited amounts in front yard landscapes unless you are a seasoned gardener who is aiming for a cottage garden look. As low-mounding flowers, impatiens grow up to 30 inches tall and wide, prefer partial shade and to be placed in well-drained soil. They bloom all summer until frost returns.

Keywords: front yard landscaping, front yard plants, front yard design

About this Author

Joy Brown is a newspaper reporter at "The Courier" and www.thecourier.com in Findlay, Ohio. She has been writing professionally since 1995, primarily in Findlay and previously at the "Galion (Ohio) Inquirer" and "Toledo City Paper." Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and history from Miami University.