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Easy Steps to Design a Front Yard Foundation Landscape Plan

Does your home need a makeover? Maybe a bit more curb appeal? Check out this front yard foundation landscape design plan that you can do on your own. No professional designer is needed.

Are you ready to take your front yard from boring to beautiful?

Do you want to create the curb appeal you’ve been dreaming of?


Awesome…then you’ve come to the right place!

You don’t need to hire a professional landscape designer to create your ideal outdoor space.

With a bit of planning, it’s possible to design your own front yard foundation landscape plan yourself.

Because if I could do it, you can too!

I’m going to share the essential steps you need to take, the most important factors to consider, and the secrets to creating a well-thought-out design that perfectly complements your house.

So, let’s get started and create the perfect front yard landscape plan – one that you can be proud of!

Understanding the Basics of Front Yard Landscape Design

two dogs in grass of front yard house beyond

When we moved into our home 15 years ago it was a new build in a planned community.

This means the builder planted basic cheap shrubs to fill the foundation planting beds without much thought to the future.

After all, once we closed the house it was ours and the builder could care less if the shrubs would grow so large they’d eventually cover our windows.

Yup, it’s true…despite yearly and often bi-annual hedge trimming the trees and shrubs in front of our house grew so tall they blocked the windows.

This photo was taken about 5 years ago so the shrubs were about 10 years old.

The individual shrubs to the left of the front steps grew so big they formed one long hedge under the window.

I’m not really a fan of that look.

At some point, I was unable to trim much off the tops or sides of the bushes so they eventually grew together.

As plants grow they get leggy underneath the green leaves on the outer edges so trimming them too small creates bald spots.

If you look behind our cute pups at the garage windows to the right in this picture you can see that those shrubs grew so tall they completely covered the windows.

Therefore, I’d suggest that the first step in planning your landscape design is to think about the long term.

Consider your home’s exterior features including windows.

Then think about how big your plants could grow and what they may cover up down the road.

When shrubs are initially planted they look tiny in front of a big house but before long they’ll be fully grown.

AnnMarie cutting shrubs with hedge trimmer

Only a year or two later the hedges in front of our living room windows grew so tall that I couldn’t even reach the top to trim them.

This photo was taken in the fall and the shrubs had been trimmed the previous spring.

They grew like crazy through the spring and summer months and the shrubs were now covering the bottom of the windows.

And if you noticed from the first photo the grade of my yard here also goes downhill.

So these plants were probably about 10 feet tall. Geez!

Obviously, not the right type of shrub for this spot.

How to Plan Foundation Planting Beds

overgrown hedges in front of house before makeover

Our shrubs and trees had grown together and not only blocked windows but they also covered some of the beautiful stone on the exterior of our house.

The bushes had become so overgrown that we were unable to trim them short enough without exposing the empty branches under the surface.

So we decided to start removing some of the larger or diseased plants a few years ago.

front of garage with large crepe myrtle tree between windows

Here you can see we ripped out a bunch of the evergreen shrubs in front of our house.

We could actually see the garage windows again. Yay!

We left the two huge holly plants on the far side of either end of the planting beds.

The limelight hydrangea we had added to the flower beds many years after the initial shrubs were planted when our home was built.

I didn’t want to remove the hydrangea because I was hoping to save them.

Determine the Focal Point of Your Front Landscape

front yard view with house

The two crepe myrtle trees were both focal points in the front of our home.

For several years the trees were beautiful.

But like the shrubs, they grew too large and covered some of our windows on the second floor.

I’d prefer to have just one focal point in our landscape design rather than two.

And feel that the focal point should be the tree in the middle of the house.

The crepe myrtle tree on the right between the garage windows was so big it was growing into the house.

We did trim these trees every year also.

Do Your Research Before Designing Your Landscape

graph paper with written diagram of plan for new front landscape

Before you start planning your landscape design you’ll want to consider the things I’ve suggested already.

But I’ve got even more to share so keep reading.

You’ll want to research the different types of shrubs and trees that grow well in your area.

Do a google search online for photos of home landscapes that you find yourself drawn to.

Pinterest is another great resource to look for inspiration.

Here is a link to our Pinterest board that includes lots of landscape ideas.

Take a drive around your town and see how other homes created their front yard foundation planting beds.

Walk around your local garden centers and nurseries to see what plants you’re drawn to.

Important Factors to Consider When Planning Your Landscape Design

foundation landscape with overgrown plants

An important factor when planning your foundation landscape design is what type of light the area receives throughout the day.

Is the space full of sun or is it mostly in the shade?

Do you get morning or afternoon sun?

You’ll need to determine the amount of light your front yard gets before you can choose plants correctly for your flower beds.

Something to consider when designing your front yard is how much time you’re willing to spend maintaining whatever you plant.

For example, the limelight hydrangea I planted takes a bit more time and effort to maintain than the other shrubs that were installed by the home builder.

Do you love to garden and want to spend a lot of time outdoors taking care of your plants?

Or would low-maintenance shrubs be a better option for you?

Know yourself and what you’re willing to do or pay to have done for you.

Plan Layout of Front Yard Foundation Landscape

hand drawn plan for foundation plantings on graph paper

After you have an idea of the style you’d like to create in your front yard, take measurements.

You need to measure all the planting bed areas.

Measure the width and depth of each space.

Don’t skip this important step.

Once you have your foundation flower beds measured you can map out your design.

I went old school and drew a simple map on graph paper with all of my measurements.

Then I could visualize and plan where I wanted to plant each shrub and tree.

There are also apps and programs you can use online to design your landscape.

Knowing exactly how much space you have for your new shrubs and trees will help you choose the correct plant varieties.

Later when you are shopping for plants you can check the size each plant will be once mature.

That way your design will turn out the way you envision it when fully grown.

How to Create the Perfect Landscape Design for Your Home

front of house in full sun

As you can see from the progression of the photos through my blog post we had our house painted recently.

I was craving a lighter and brighter feel for our family home.

The house and trim are painted Shoji White by Sherwin Williams.

You can see the process of how I chose the exterior paint colors for our home and the other colors I considered here.

The front door, garage doors (which you can’t see since they’re on the side of the house), and the shutters are Anew Gray also by Sherwin Williams.

Now with the lighter color scheme of the house, we need new foundation plantings to improve the curb appeal of our home.

Our Foundation Landscape Design Plan

front yard with dying trees house in far view

The first step in our plan is to remove the rest of the plantings along the foundation of our house.

This will include the hydrangea, holly, and crepe myrtle trees.

We’ll also have both of the Bradford pear trees in the middle of the front yard taken down because unfortunately, they’re diseased and dying.

My husband and I will do our research and gather ideas to include in our landscape plan.

But we’ve already decided on several things.

Here is the rest of the design plan based on our vision:

  • small flowering tree as the focal point
  • low maintenance shrubs
  • evergreen bushes
  • low profile and slow-growing shrubs
  • dwarf variety plants we love
  • incorporate different colors

I’ll be sharing all the steps in our front yard makeover so stay tuned.

Are you planning a foundation landscape project? We’d love to see your before and after photos.

If you have any questions or suggestions, contact me or leave a comment below!

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