The shrubs and trees that form the backbone of your landscape remain for years to come and contribute to the curb appeal of your home. The landscape in your front yard should be decorative as well as functional.
Choose plants in scale with the size of your home. Boxwoods look fine in a knot garden but seem Lilliputian in the front yard of a grand colonial home.
Consider potential maintenance problems before you select plantings. You may like the appeal of a shaped hedge until you have to get the clippers out every two weeks. Also, consider the mature height of a deciduous tree planted too close to a home, leading to clogged gutters.
Select trees and shrubs to enhance a pleasing view or to block an unsightly one. If you decide to plant a privacy hedge to screen a neighbor's front yard, choose a mixed planting for your hedge. If one specimen dies, you can replace it without creating an odd gap between young and old plants.
Dull the harsh edges of your home's foundation with natural, flowing curves. You can situate masses of plants at each corner of your home, planting the tallest shrubs closest to the foundation, followed by successively smaller plants.
Include strategic splashes of color and fragrance to welcome friends and family. Rather than let fragrance waft down the street with the wind, plant a small stand of hyacinths by your front door where visitors can enjoy the color and scent.
Reduce the effects of wind and weather with trees. Homeowners in rural settings use windbreaks frequently, but suburban dwellers can also plant a row of evergreens on the side of the yard with prevailing winds. Deciduous trees can block summer heat and allow winter sun to shine through bare branches.