Small Front Yard Landscaping Ideas Pictures
Impatiens grow well in shady east-facing yards.
Front yards with morning sun are excellent for plants that tolerate shady respite from afternoon sun. However, that is only one piece of the puzzle in landscaping an eastern-facing front yard. Designing any yard begins with careful planning so that money, effort and plants are not wasted. Landscaping requires artful choices and placement of plants to create curb appeal and outdoor spaces you enjoy. Successful plans begin with observation of current plantings and their relationship to your house and other existing landscape elements. Tracking sunlight patterns and noting any persistently damp or dry areas also aids planning.
Tour your neighborhood, viewing eastern-facing yards to look for landscape designs that are appealing. Look for graceful combinations and massings of plants, berms, hardscape - such as curving walkways and retaining walls - and vertical elements, including trellising, trees and hedges. Click some photos for later planning. Be polite, but get a little nosy: Ask neighbors for names of attractive plants that you can't identify.
Make "before" sketches of the yard, noting any plants and their locations in relation to the walkway, driveway, front porch, windows, front doors and dominating architectural features such as a tall, bare wall or large roof overhangs. Take brief notes concerning matters such as how well plants are doing in their current locations. Decide what you like about the yard as is. Ask yourself which plants, if any, need to be removed and why. Don't plan on planting a replacement shade tree if it's the shade the current tree produces that is the problem. Determine whether some existing plantings would do better if moved to the back yard where they will receive more intense sun.
Track morning sunlight from break of day until noon. Set a timer to mark 1-hour intervals so you can take pictures of the yard at those times. Photograph the yard from a variety of angles to get a clear picture of shade patterns. Notice any plants that seem to lack sufficient sunshine or shade. Think about how shade patterns would be affected if a tree, a tall bush or a hedge screen were removed or added to the landscape.
Research water-conserving xeriscapic plants even if moisture retention is less problematic in a yard with morning sun. Think about whether turf should be reduced and what plants should replace it. If re-sodding, ask lawn experts about turf types that need less watering. If getting rid of turf altogether but want some grass, try shade-tolerant ornamentals such as drought-tolerant Lindheimer's muhly grass (Muhlenbergia lindheimeri). Avoid mixing plants that have drastically different water needs, especially if you rely on an automatic sprinkler system.
Seek advice after completing your initial research. Share your notes, pictures and preferences with garden experts at a local garden center or a university agricultural extension office who can offer recommendations about whether your choices will thrive in local U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones. Talk with friends who are good gardeners. Finally, decide on a budget and price plants and materials before making any purchases.