Magazine article Sunset

Front-Yard Makeovers

Magazine article Sunset

Front-Yard Makeovers

Article excerpt

Homes with appealing new approaches

In many homes, the front yard is underutilized: It's an open expanse too exposed to public view But, like a versatile actor, a front yard can play many roles that enhance the house visually and functionally. It can establish a mood--welcoming, intriguing--or it can serve as a full-fledged outdoor room. The remodeled yards shown here use layers of plants and landscape features to achieve complexity and depth, turning plain yards into inviting sheltered gardens with places to sit. The enhancements include hedges, walls, arbors, curving pathways, trees, repaved areas, and plant material. Each new element stops the eye and creates a sense of privacy while maintaining pleasant views.

YOUR OWN FRONT-YARD MAKEOVER: here's what you need to consider

* Start at the street. A fence, hedge, or wall helps define the property and breaks up a flat expanse. To help draw guests into the garden, indent portions of a fence at the entry walk rather than running it in an unbroken line.

* Plant trees in the center of a lawn. They not only help screen the house from unwelcome eyes, but also give the yard a more natural, forestlike look. …

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