When I bought my first home, I was so overjoyed that I didn’t even realize that my front yard landscape was the eyesore of the street.
At the time, I wasn’t much of a gardener, so anything that was “green” was good for me. However, I started noticing a string of gardeners knocking on my door asking me if I wanted some front yard landscape help.
I had just purchased a home, and was renovating my interior, and didn’t really have a budget to improve my exterior curb appeal. But I thought to myself:
Well, how expensive could front yard landscaping even be, especially for a small front yard like mine? Not much, right?
Landscaping is more expensive than you might think!
I asked various gardeners for quotes and every one of them got back to me with estimates in the THOUSANDS of dollars range — yes, that’s right– for landscaping!! I was shocked as I was not willing to spend even close to a grand, but I also did not want an ugly front yard. So, I decided to begin some of my own research!
Affordable Alternatives: Start with Detective Work
I started walking my dog around the neighborhood every day to get some front yard landscaping ideas and inspiration, and I quickly realized a few things–
- Most of the “green” in my yard was actually overgrown weeds. Boo!
- My house was on the side of the road that got a lot of shade and minimal sunlight.
- I had messy overgrown plants that stopped flowering because of many years of neglect.
- Other than nature doing its thing, my front yard had no edging, variety, or organization! (ie: think of it as a house that hasn’t had a good haircut in 10 years).
- Most of the houses had similar landscaping with similar flowers and edging.
It took me a summer of online research, gardening guides, and some information on what plants do best in my area to really turn my yard around. By the end of the summer, I was having neighbors ask me what company I used for my front yard landscape, and how much it cost.
There is a great sense of pride in being able to reply with, “I did my own front yard landscape, and it cost me under $250.”
If you are thinking of giving your front yard a much-needed makeover, then take a look at some of these affordable and beautiful Front Yard Landscape Ideas:
Edging has the ability to neaten your garden while creating symmetry and organization. Whenever I am feeling like I need some self-care, I shave my beard and get a haircut, and that alone makes me feel so much better about myself. Similarly, edging has the ability to highlight your front yard’s key features while boosting your overall curb appeal.
I have seen some people spend small fortunes on their garden edging, but I recommend a cheaper affordable option, as your garden should be the highlight and focus of your investment before the edging steals the show. However, there are some garden edging options that can improve your front yard landscape, without breaking the bank.
Here are some of my favorite options!
- No-Dig Edging & some Mulch: Quite possibly the easiest & cheapest way to edge your garden is by getting some no-dig edging and then filling your garden with mulch. I did this for my backyard, and it took me 20 minutes, and less than $50
- You will need: No-Dig Edging, Mulch, Metal Spikes.
- Garden Lovers Club has a gorgeous No-Dig Edging DIY that I think is easy to do, affordable, and so worth the effort.
- You will need: No-Dig Edging, Metal Spikes, Fast Setting Concrete Mix, and Landscaping Blocks.
- Brick Edging! If you have a bunch of bricks laying around (if you don’t, check Facebook Marketplace, or other online local sellers for super cheap to free options!) then this option is for you. One of my favorite Youtube channels, This Old House has the easiest tutorial!
- You can use the items the video recommends but if you want to go even simpler, you’ll only need: Bricks, Fast Setting Concrete Mix, a Shovel, a Tarp, and a Measuring Tape.
- I actually did this project with only the five items I recommend, and it came out looking just as good, and I spent close to nothing, as I already had most of the items at home!
I think it is pretty obvious to say that “flowers will brighten up and improve your front yard landscape.”
However, most buyers go to their local stores during the spring/summer months, find a plant that looks pretty, add it to their front porch or garden, and then wonder why it died four days later.
When you purchase flowers/plants without understanding what works in your specific location first, then you essentially give your local business a sale, while you struggle to keep your plants alive.
Do not worry though, as there are many ways you can upgrade your garden with the “right” hedges and flowers. Take a look at my two articles below, and you will have all the information you need to save money and grow the best landscape for your front yard!
Suggested Blog Posts:
1. 30 Best Bushes for your Garden: Suggestions on hedges for edging, best low-light plants, and best flowering plants!
2. Easy to Grow & Easy to Love: 6 super-easy to grow perennials that you will love!
Helpful Hint: Learn about Hardiness Zones, differences between perennials and annuals, deciduous and evergreen, and light requirements! All of these details are covered in my blog posts!
If you have a fence around your front yard, then you could add some hooks to the interior and hang some mason jar solar lights. Mason jar solar lights also come in different colors to match your siding, and is a perfect way to add some nighttime charm to your front yard landscape!
There is a gorgeous farmhouse-style house a few blocks from me, and every night that I get to see it I am left feeling mesmerized by the magical twinkling lights the mason jars give off. With mason jar fairy lights, you won’t see your electricity bill spike because they are solar-powered!
- You will need some Mason Jars & solar powered fairy lights! If you have any mason jars left over, try out these other decoration ideas!
I personally think a nice pathway adds major curve-appeal and property value to a lot.
When I moved into my most recent home, I could not stand the pathway leading to the house. I bought a house that had a tiny front pathway, but every step was pure ugly. The previous owner essentially put a bunch of different colored stones into the ground, and over the years it naturally formed a path of flat rocks and lots of weeds.
I decided to spend a Saturday digging out rocks and weeds, and another day refilling the pathway. When my DIY pathway was done, my house looked exponentially better!
DIY pathways can really improve your front yard landscape– here are some of my favorite projects!
- This DIY Cobblestone Path is super affordable and so beautiful! If I had seen it earlier, I would have done this project for my front yard. You will need: Quikrete Stencil, Quikrete fast-drying cement, a Wheelbarrow, Gloves, and a Mask!
- Pallet Walkways are cheap easy options to add a different but rustic feel to your front yard!
You will need: Old Pallets (check your local grocery stores), Option 1: Saw, Crowbar, Hammer, Drill, and Stakes or Option 2 (saves times and energy): Reciprocating Saw, Drill, and Stakes. I would also get a nice wood stain to add some nice color to the old pallets! The best tutorial I have seen is by Garden Answer.
You can add a lot of character to your landscape by decorating your exterior. For example:
- You could paint your front door with a bright color: Yellow, Teal, Light Grey, and Red are my favorite!
- Paint your light fixtures: If you have old light fixtures, instead of replacing them, take them down & add a coat of bright paint (or neutral paint) to bring new life to your accent pieces.
- Add window boxes: There are so many tutorials on how to add window boxes to your front windows, and when they are done, they add decor and natural life to your front yard!
- Update your House Number Sign: DIY craft a sign that shows off your house number. Here is my favorite Tutorial.
- Add some extra decor: Archways, wine barrel planters, hanging plants, and string lights can all add a nice touch to the front yard landscape.
A neat, orderly, and gorgeous front yard landscape can be in your future. While the task of gardening, decorating and reorganizing can seem like a lot, it actually does not need to be difficult.
I did most of my landscaping over one weekend, and then with minor upkeep, it has stayed looking beautiful for all of the sunny months of the year.
However, I must add– before completing any of the update suggestions above you must start by cutting your grass, weeding, and removing any clutter/trash.
By doing a thorough deep-clean of your front yard before adding a new character, you’ll get a good sense of what lies under the weeds, where to add edging for your pathways and gardens, and where you should prioritize your time.
With the decorations and suggestions listed above, I hope you fall in love with your new and improved landscape!