The front yard is the focal point of the home and the first impression for visitors, friends and family. When choosing plants for the landscape, consider growing those native to the USDA zone to ensure a long-lasting and healthy plant. Personalize the yard with favorite plants and flowers that reflect the style of the home. Before choosing plants, come up with a plan to help keep organized and don't be afraid to tweak as you go along.
Fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides) is warm season ornamental grass variety that has an upright, open clumping and spreading form. It grows 2 to 4 feet tall and wide to make an ideal front yard plant to line a front entry or to run along the back of a border for height and texture. The upright, dense brush-like flower spikes have colors that range from creamy white to dark purple and sit atop the erect bright green stems. Emerging in late summer, fountain grass stems arch outwards like water spraying from a fountain, hence the name fountain grass. The narrow green leaves on fountain grass grow up to 1/2 inch wide to cast a yellow tinge in fall. Fountain grass grows best in full sun to part shade and well-drained, fertile soil. It has a moderate drought tolerance. Plant fountain grass in USDA zones 5 to 9.
Elephant's ear 'Coffee Cup' is a tropical perennial plant that makes an ideal specimen plant within the front yard for its commanding height and attractive foliage. Elephant's ear grows 3 to 6 feet tall and wide and has a clumping growth habit and vigorous growth rate. Elephant's ear is ideal planted along a bed or grown in a container to create a focal point to the front yard. The black stems and cup-shaped leaves add deep color and dimension to the garden and help create the whimsical name. Elephant's ear grows best in full sun and well-drained, moist soil that is nutrient-rich. Plant elephant's ear coffee cup in USDA zones 8 to 11.
Lance-leaved coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata) is a perennial flower with striking solitary, yellow petals that attract butterflies to the front yard. Lance-leaved coreopsis grows in upright clumps that range from 1 to 3 feet in height and width. Planted in masses along a front flowerbed, the bright yellow, toothed flowerheads of lance-leaved coreopsis provide bright bursts of color to the garden. Not only do they have a fast growth rate but they are also drought-tolerant to withstand periods of limited moisture. Lance-leaved coreopsis makes ideal fresh-cut flowers because of their tall, erect green stems. They grow best in full sun to part shade and well-drained soil. Versatile, lance-leaved coreopsis flowers are also tolerant of heat and humidity. Plant them in USDA zones 4 to 9.