The landscaping of your front yard contributes many first impressions. If you're thinking of selling your home, attractive landscaping gives your home curb appeal. If you're happy where you are, the plants you choose for your front yard gardens establish the personality of your home. Because shrubs grow larger than the majority of garden plants, they play a commanding role in how your front yard appears. You should also consider the maintenance needs of the shrubs you choose, and the amount of time and effort you're willing to devote to caring for them.
The big, showy blooms on a hydrangea serve as a focal point in your front yard from midsummer through autumn. The dark-green foliage sets off large clusters of blossoms in a variety of colors, depending on cultivar. One of the most common cultivars, the bigleaf hydrangea, changes blossom color depending on the pH of the soil and can assume both blue and pink blossoms under the right conditions. Hydrangeas are easy to care for but need a lot of moisture, according to the Ohio State University Extension. Pruning can be challenging, since different cultivars require pruning at different times of the year.
Rose of Sharon
One of the chief advantages of the Rose of Sharon shrub, according to the Virginia Cooperative Extension, is that it flowers when most other shrubs have finished blooming. The showy blossoms and the shrub's upright form make it an attractive addition to a front yard, where it provides a splash of late-summer color. Different cultivars produce blossoms in white, red, blue or purple. Rose of Sharon tolerates a range of climate and soil conditions, but the extension notes that several pests and diseases attack the plant, and recommends researching good cultivars for your area. Rose of Sharon requires little special care beyond spring pruning.
Lilac cultivars range in size from medium-size trees to shrubs less than a few feet tall, but they have in common brilliant and sweetly fragrant spring foliage that will delight passers-by. The University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension recommends the Korean and dwarf Korean lilacs for gardeners who want a smaller, more compact lilac better suited for a front yard planting. Lilacs require little care, although deadheading and pruning will keep the shrub looking its best.
Despite its name, don't expect a towering tree from the mugo pine--this dwarf tree reaches only 4 to 10 feet tall. Mugo pines assume globular shapes or grow in the typical pyramidal pine tree form. Mugo pine grows well in a range of conditions and requires little special care, including pruning. It grows well in urban yards, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension. If you're looking for a less-showy, evergreen shrub for your yard, or need an evergreen to fill a small space, the mugo pine may meet your needs.