10 Ideas to Liven Up Your Landscaping This Fall

Contrary to popular belief, early fall is actually a great time to dig into some landscaping work. The summer sun finally starts to back off, but it’s still warm enough for perennials to establish a root system before the first winter frost. In fact, some landscapers argue that flowers, shrubs, and trees planted in the fall have even more developed root systems than those planted in the spring. Better root systems = More blooms and better overall performance. To help stir some inspiration, we’ve curated this list of 10 ideas to liven up your landscaping this fall. So let’s get started!

Landscaping is just one piece of the curb appeal equation. At brick&batten, we provide custom virtual home exterior design services. You send us a picture of your home, communicate your preferences and goals, and we’ll send you a realistic rendering and a detailed shopping list.

10 Ideas to Liven Up Your Landscaping this Fall

Before and after of home with removed tree

Before and after of simplified landscaping

#1 // Remove Excess Plants: Less is More!

This fall, we’re encouraging our virtual design clients to simplify their home’s landscape. Trimming large tree branches and shrubs that block your walkway and windows are dangerous. Not only are large branches at risk of falling but overgrown landscape near your house and door is a breeding ground for unwanted critters and possibly unwanted people. Your front door should be the focal point of your home. If it’s hard to see behind the overgrown landscape, then it’s time to do some trimming.


Before and after of a home with xeriscape front lawn and new dark paint color

#2 // Make a Gravel Garden

Does your front lawn have an awkwardly small patch of grass that is a hassle to mow? We highly suggest making the most out of a small area like this by replacing the grass for gravel. Certain dried grasses and desert plants like succulents love gravel soil. Right now, we are loving the look of dark gray gravel as opposed to tan gravel. You might need to hire a professional landscaper to take on this project, but there’s no harm in trying it yourself first! This tutorial might help.


Symmetrical Landscape

#3 // Place Plants Symmetrically

There’s a time and place for neat and orderly plants. We especially love the look of thoughtfully placed trees and grasses that mirror one another on modern houses with slick lines. Keep in mind that you don’t need to achieve perfect symmetry. Above all else, just strive for visual balance. Note in the example above, the blooming trees aren’t exactly parallel to one another. We chose this design to avoid overcrowding the walkway. By adding a little extra green space on the left, we made this yard feel much more balanced.


A home with a variety of green landscaping plants

#4 // Mix Height, Texture, and Different Shades of Green

Adding multitudes of colorful blooms to your yard can create a fun look, but there are other ways to add variety with a more minimalist approach. A green monochromatic color scheme can still display visual interest, especially when you strategically add in different plant heights and textures. Plus, green plants retain their color for much longer than flowers, and they often require less maintenance.

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#5 // Opt for Large Planters Over Large Bushes

For a beautiful way to liven up your landscaping this fall, look no further than an oversized planter filled with fall grasses. Opting for corten steel or composite wood planters not only looks updated but can give your home a fall feel. And as a bonus benefit, swapping out large bushes for large planters can save you the cost or time of annual bush trimmings.


Before and after of a new paver patio

#6 // Make a Patio With Pavers and Grass

Digging into the dirt and adding a patio to your front yard is a big commitment, though a patio is beautiful there are other ways to add curb appeal. Add visual interest and a seating area to your front lawn, simply through laying pavers  in an interesting pattern with grass between or commit to the patio and use  the pavers as stepping stones to your favorite location.


Landscaping bed in front of lawn

#7 // Think Outside the Norm With Landscaping Bed Placement

While a landscaping bed traditionally goes around a walkway or right up against a home’s foundation, we’ve seen some front lawns pull off an unconventional placement. Take a look at the landscaping bed above. It creates a visual border between the patio and the rest of the lawn. If you choose to put your landscaping bed farther away from your house, be sure to select plants with hearty and established root systems. Depending on your climate, some plants benefit from the warmth of the house as the weather gets cooler.


#8 // Create Your Own Zen Garden With Rocks and Unique Greenery

A real-life zen garden follows a pretty simple formula: Combine some gravel, thoughtfully placed rocks, and neatly trimmed shrubs. But as far as greenery goes, we really encourage our clients to think beyond the traditional boxwood shrubs. Desert grasses and native plants are great alternatives that aren’t overdone. Many nurseries markdown Hostas at the beginning of fall. Just be sure to plant them several weeks before the first freeze so you can enjoy them next spring too.


new driveway

#9 // Swap Your Cracked, Dated Cement Driveway for a Paver Driveway

Cement simply doesn’t last forever. If your driveway is filled with cracks and stains that a power washer can’t remove, it might be time to rip it up. Replacing a cement patio or driveway with pavers can dramatically update your home’s exterior. It’s a great way to liven up your landscaping this fall, especially because it’s a labor-intensive project that pretty much requires ideal weather. When choosing a type of paver patio or driveway, we suggest trying out different materials and patterns. A virtual exterior designer can help you visualize options without wasting money on multiple samples.

Before and after of a tropical home with a new roundabout driveway

#10 // Add Some Driveway Islands

If you decide to redo your driveway this fall, why not go all out and add some driveway islands to the mix? Traditional driveway islands are typically round and rest in the middle of a circle drive. However, we love placing them in the corners above a round driveway. It creates sort of a picture frame effect. Plus, it provides another perfect place to put some pumpkins for fall decor.


Renovation expert Bob Vila states that the first impression, which is the exterior of your home, can add 20% to your home’s value. Hire brick&batten for your exterior design needs, and we will help your home live out its full potential and impress buyers. Get started today!