A modest yard can look nice with nothing but foundation plantings, a well-groomed lawn and a few features, but a big yard requires more imagination. A yard that is too plain can drown the house in a bland expanse of green, while too overgrown a landscape can lose focus altogether, drastically reducing the curb appeal of the house. To strike the right balance, take a few risks and break up the yard with some well-structured hardscape and interesting plantings.
If you prefer intimacy and charming hidden surprises over wide open spaces, build a walled garden in your big yard. Surround your garden by a brick, stone or concrete wall with an entrance gate at one end. Use walls, trellises, trees, statues, columns and other landscaping objects to divide it into rooms. Give each room a theme: Grow vegetables in one room, flowers in another, exotic plants in a third and so on. Alternately, divide the rooms by color, size of plants, type of garden (Asian, English, alpine) or any theme you prefer. Add statues peeking out from bushes, wind chimes in remote corners, mirrors positioned to reflect unusual or attractive plants and other intriguing surprises for your guests to find.
Front Yard Patio
Houses with large yards are often set back far from the street, creating a somewhat intimidating and unapproachable appearance. Bring a sense of community back to your yard with a front yard patio. Place the patio off to the side of your front entrance. Plant shade trees toward the outside edge of it, creating a boundary but still leaving it open to the street and the front of the house. Install a permanent picnic table or a low stone bench along with flowers or bushes and perhaps a small fountain. Landscape a path from the sidewalk to the patio and then to the front door so that visitors are first directed through the patio before reaching the house. Use the patio as a place to greet guests, host small outdoor gatherings and relax in nice weather. Use a larger patio or deck in the backyard for bigger gatherings.
Native Nature Preserve
A large backyard doesn't need to be entirely dominated by well-groomed lawn, sculpted bushes and bright flower beds. If you are a nature lover, set off a corner of your yard as a miniature wilderness. Grow native trees, vines, flowers and bushes in a semi-random configuration. Clear a path in from the main part of your yard and mulch the center to create a small clearing. Install a small bench in the middle to sit and enjoy the dense growth blooming all around you.