Front-Yard Sidewalk-Garden Ideas

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    • Use Layers in the Garden

      Some of the best garden ideas use layering — where you combine layers of plants that grow at different heights. This front garden idea is a great example; the white alyssum and purple-leafed lobelia in the front set the stage for taller tulips and butterfly flower, which are in turn backed by society garlic and a wall topped by glowing pink bougainvillea.

      Here’s a tip: Even if you don’t live in a warm-climate area, you can still take advantage of tropicals such as bougainvillea. Just treat them as annuals (or grow them in containers and bring them indoors for the winter).

    • Create Interest with Curves

      Curves are much more appealing to the eye than straight lines. So give your sidewalk garden an extra bit of pizzazz with flowing curves in this garden idea. Here, the strip of turf between the street and the garden helps set off the planting wonderfully. And it gives folks a place to step when they get out of their cars. If your area is big enough, you could also do the same thing between the planting and the sidewalk.

      Here’s a tip: Install landscape edging between your border and the turf to keep grass from creeping into your beds.

    • Make the Most of Your Space

      A sidewalk garden doesn’t have to take up a lot of room. This is a great front garden idea showing how you can pack in color and texture in just a little space; with only about a foot between the fence and the sidewalk, this garden is filled with tall, narrow plants such as these pink and white foxglove, purple delphinium, and a climbing rose to attach to the fence. Tall, narrow plants are a great way to maximize narrow spots.

      Here’s a tip: If you use tall, narrow plants like this, be sure to plant smaller plants at the base so there are blooms from the top of the plants all the way to the ground.

    • Grow a Cutting Garden

      Even though they take up little real estate, small-space sidewalk gardens can be great for growing your own cut flowers. In this garden idea, foxgloves, roses, and a host of other flowers are perfect for dressing up the front of the house and dropping in a vase for a great hostess gift or table decoration.

      Here’s a tip: Look at landscape accents to give your sidewalk garden more appeal. Here, for example, a white picket fence and arbor create even more charm.

    • Decrease Your Yard Maintenance

      A fun front garden idea: Instead of having to mow your front yard once a week (or more) to keep it looking good, indulge in rich plantings. This crafty gardener mixed ornamentals, herbs, and vegetables to create a beautiful front yard that takes a lot less time to keep looking good than a lawn. Her front yard is the perfect place to grab some fresh herbs for dinner.

      Here’s a tip: Check your local rules about front yard plantings. Some areas require a certain amount of lawn.

    • Our Best Curb Appeal Tips

      Watch and follow these simple tips for stunning curb appeal.

    • Make Your Yard Feel Bigger

      Create an illusion of space if you have a small yard with a street-side planting in this garden idea. This garden adds a layer of dimension to an otherwise shallow front yard. The mix of textures in the garden adds to the effect — the variety of shapes keeps your attention on the border.

      Here’s a tip: The border’s simple color theme helps it feel larger, too. Cool colors, such as lavender, light pink, and blue often feel farther away than they really are.

    • Delight Passersby with Fragrance

      A sidewalk garden doesn’t just have to look good — it can smell great, too. This front garden idea combines a lovely majestic Southern magnolia and shrub roses for low-care color and a delightful fragrance spring to fall. The planting between the sidewalk and street helps soften the front yard plantings; the result is privacy that’s not unwelcoming.

      Here’s a tip: Use a 2- to 3-inch-deep layer of mulch to keep weeds down and help the soil stay moist longer. That way you’ll have even more time to enjoy your lovely garden.

    • Add Easy Elegance

      Get inspired with this garden idea: Give your front yard a transformation by clearing out the turf between your sidewalk and your street and filling it with low-maintenance, easy-care plants, such as these ornamental grasses, including fountain grass (Pennisetum) and blue oat grass (Helictotrichon).

      Here’s a tip: Check your city’s rules about planting in this space; some places have restrictions on how tall plants can grow.

    • Make a Statement

      This relatively simple sidewalk front garden idea makes a big statement in a small space. A simple boxwood border and snaking line create pockets for the fireworks-like texture of ornamental grasses. We love the plant choice; the evergreen boxwood looks great all year long and the grasses shine from summer through early spring.

      Here’s a tip: If you plant between the street and sidewalk and your street allows for parking, leave a space so people can get out of their car. Here, a flagstone border does the trick perfectly.

    • Garden No Matter Where You Live

      You can have a stunning sidewalk, even if you live in an arid area, using this garden idea. Here, yellow and orange ice plant make a stunning statement in front of yucca, agave, and cactus. Other attractive plants for hot, dry places include aloes and many salvias, penstemons, and flowering cacti.

      Here’s a tip: If you plant against a south- or west-facing wall, you’ll want to select plants that can stand up to the extra heat reflected off the wall.

    • Plan for All Seasons

      This street-side front garden idea keeps going all season. In spring, it benefits from a burst of color from bulbs and crabapples. Then perennials such as Oriental poppy come into play. Prolong the season with other easy favorites, including peonies, daylilies, coreopsis, coneflowers, and black-eyed Susan. In fall and winter, grasses take center stage.

      Here’s a tip: Another great way to help deter weeds is to plant densely; the closer together your garden plants are, the less room there is for weeds.

    • Solve a Slope Problem

      If you’re stuck with a sloping front yard, a retaining wall and sidewalk garden can be the perfect garden idea and solution for tough mowing. Here, a simple concrete retaining wall is dressed up with a variety of beautiful blooms. A charming white picket fence helps distract you from the blandness of the concrete wall, and gives the whole landscape a quaint cottage character.

      Here’s a tip: Vines like this ivy — or trailing plants such as many varieties of campanula — will help cover up walls as well.

    • Utilize Containers

      A great sidewalk garden doesn’t have to be limited to planting in the ground. You can create the same effect with containers. This front garden idea relies on a series of container gardens that lines the sidewalk of this cute cottage. The biggest chore is watering — and that can be a breeze with a simple drip-irrigation system.

      Here’s a tip: We love the cool, chartreuse color theme this gardener picked. Even a one-color garden can look great.

    • Add a Splash of Color

      This charming home, with a shrub-filled front yard, felt a little bland, so the homeowners added curb appeal with a simple garden between their fence and sidewalk. Filled with fragrant red nicotiana, red-leafed Acalypha, and coleus, it’s a treat for passersby and a practical garden idea.

      Here’s a tip: Don’t forget about the importance of foliage color when you select plants. The red-leaf plants create just as much interest as the flowers — and look good from spring to fall because they never go out of bloom.

    • Update Your Entrance

      We love how sidewalk gardens instantly make a home more welcoming and inviting. In this front garden idea, a few flowers tucked along a split-rail fence create a boundary from the street while adding charm and character. A similar planting (filled with easy-care annuals and perennials) between the street and the sidewalk creates an extra layer of interest.

      Here’s a tip: The curved walkway from the sidewalk to the home adds visual interest. Think about creating eye-pleasing curves in your landscape when possible.

    • Create Cottage Charm

      Planting along your sidewalk can help accent your home’s architectural style. In this garden idea, a lovely Victorian home is made all the more charming with a little cottage-style garden filled with roses and other great flowers for cutting. A white picket fence completes the scene. We love how the garden makes a big impact, but takes up hardly any space.

      Here’s a tip: Check your city’s rules about planting in this space; some places have restrictions on how tall plants can grow.

    • Make Your Yard Feel More Intimate

      If your house is set back from the street and feels isolated, a pocket of colorful flowers along the sidewalk can help it feel more inviting by creating color and interest up close. In this front garden idea, a colorful border, planted with daylilies, perennial geraniums, sedum, and other easy-growing varieties looks good all season long and is a great accent to the house.

      Here’s a tip: If you have a deep front yard, planting along the sidewalk will also help give you a beautiful, colorful view from inside your home.

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