Everyone knows that well-designed landscaping can greatly improve the curb appeal of your home. There is absolutely an art to creating curb appeal and making your house feel warm and welcoming from the outside. Landscape design can complement the architecture your home and should replicate its style in order to give your property a true sense of space. Plants can sometimes soften and break up corners with foliage and other times accentuate architectural lines into the landscape. It’s important to use plants with the right size, texture, flower color, and blooming period in order to add depth and season long interest to your landscape. At KG, our professional landscape designers know how to design and install front yard landscaping that provides the charm and elegance people love. It’s the compounding factors of the many elements of great landscape design that when gotten right, add so much character and curb appeal to your home!
Principles of Front Yard Landscaping in Minneapolis
Keeping things simple provides continuity and makes it easier to appreciate accents and focal point in the landscape. Great Minneapolis landscape designers follow the principles of design and use plants and design elements like walls, columns, and flower pots only for specific reason in different spaces. Knowing where elements are needed and not needed allows landscaping to flow nicely and prevents cluttering and overcrowdedness.
Mixing up the shapes, textures, foliage, and flower colors helps create interest without sacrificing simplicity. Balancing variety and continuity enhances the flow and seasonal interest of your landscape.
The relationship of different sized elements that make up the landscape. Formal balance is when one side of the landscape is a near a mirror image of the other side, whereas informal balance is when each side of the landscape is similar in size and weight, but not exactly the same. The diagram below shows examples to achieve balance in both formal and informal landscape design.
Plants are used in the landscape for specific purposes. A pot full of colorful annuals might be placed on either side of the main entrance to drawn attention to the front door. An ornamental tree might be used to screen or soften the look of a rigid corner or architectural feature.
Usually part of the larger landscape, but planted alone to stand out. Specimen plants are used because of their unique form, foliage, or color to draw attention to an area like the front door or as a primary focal point in the landscape.
Key plants are used to soften or screen the look of architectural feature like steps and fences. Key plants are also used on building corners to soften the visual transition between the house and the rest of the landscape making the home fit more naturally into the larger landscape.
Part of the larger landscape, accent plants are typically planted alone or in groups of 3 and should provide special seasonal interest like flowers or nice looking foliage at different times of the year
Sequencing is important to provide a gradual transition from one section of the landscape to another. Using short, fine textured plants in the front row, medium textured plants in the center and taller or large leafed (courser texture) plants in the back row of a planting is an example of proper sequencing. This creates the visual flow and continuity we want in the landscape.
The ratio or proportion between the sizes of certain elements in the landscape. Large homes should have larger scaled landscaping than smaller houses. Two story homes should use taller bushes and key plants that appropriately fit the scale of the home. Landscaping to scale helps us make the visual transition between the lawn, shrubs, and trees in the landscape and the home itself. Correct scale makes the entire landscape feel more natural and comfortable to be in. Getting the scale right will ensure the landscaping fits the home and property proportions.
Features That Add Interest to Curb Appeal
Curb appeal doesn’t just happen when the sun is out. It is equally important during the time with the sun has gone down to keep your house looking incredibly beautiful and welcoming.
Outdoor lighting illuminates your house to keep it easy for guests to find, prevent breaks in, and make your house look gorgeous. The lighting takes a professional eye and technical skill to install so we don’t recommend it for homeowners to install.
Natural looking plantings are very in style right now. The best way to create and enhance this look is through boulder outcroppings. We can use many different colors and textures to compliment the home and other plant aspects. We dig a hole to bury part of the boulder and then mold the dirt around it to give it a lived in look.
Annual Pots and Flower Boxes
The best way to quickly add interest and excitement near your entry door is to install annual pots and flower boxes. These small planting areas pack a HUGE punch. The colorful and vibrant plants will welcome you and guests into your home every day of the summer months.
The ability to choose different plants each and every year also allows for more creativity. You can have a pot with a rainbow of colors or do a monochrome arrangement featuring a single color. The textures and varieties are endless.
Retaining or Boulder Wall
Oftentimes, the slope on the front of a house is too extreme for a planting, the slope causes run off problems, or the slope is just not functional. That’s where a retaining wall comes in handy. They’re great at solving problems in your yard.
But they are so much more than that! A boulder wall or well engineered retaining wall will add interest, character, and solve slope problems you have in your yard.
Edging and Steps
These are definitely items that many people do not think of when they think “curb appeal,” but they are crucial to a natural, welcoming landscape.
There’s a wide variety of edging to choose from including natural stone, poly plastic, and steel. Each has it’s advantages and disadvantages and our team will work with you to pick the correct one for your landscape. Steps and natural stone edging come in an assortment of colors as well.