At brick&batten, we’ve been in the virtual redesign game for quite a while now. This means we’ve got some secret landscape ideas up our sleeves to make any home stand out…and we’ve decided to spill a few. So if you’ve hit a wall with your plans and you’re lacking inspiration, this one is for you.
Has a DIY landscape job got you feeling overwhelmed? Contact brick&batten for help with your home exterior design. We’ll listen to your project goals and offer design expertise, realistic renderings, and a convenient resource list.
5 Landscape Ideas to Make Any Home Stand Out
#1 Use Stone Slabs to Extend a Patio Area
Investing in a patio for your front lawn is a big commitment, but who can resist adding a cute sitting area to a home without a front porch? One way to visually extend your patio without removing half the grass on your lawn is to add stone slabs in front of it. We love the look of organic stone shapes for Tudor cottages, but clean, geometric shapes really complement midcentury homes. You can also play around with color and stone types.
These stone slabs can double as a walkway to your front door as well, depending on the rest of the landscape. And if you or your future buyers get tired of the patio, it’s much less costly to remove stone slabs and a small patio than it is to remove one large patio.
#2 Choose Native Plants–They’re Harder to Kill!
Maybe you weren’t born with a green thumb, or maybe you’re just super busy. Regardless of the reason you don’t have a good track record with plants, choosing native plants can set you up for success. Native plants are ones that grow naturally around your home’s geographical location, so they can thrive despite neglect. You might notice that most native plants have a wild and carefree look to them, so you may need to occasionally trim them to make sure they look intentional and less like a weed.
Plus, growing native plants can actually save you money. You can start many of them by seed rather than purchasing a mature plant because they grow so quickly. Native plants also require less frequent waterings. Basically, planting large, flowering native plants is a cost-effective way to make your neighbors stop and stare.
Native Plants by Region
Here’s a quick list of plants that grow well in each region of the U.S. Some of their names may sound like weeds (i.e. Swamp Milkweed), but we promise they’re pretty:
- Midwest: Goldenrod, Coneflowers, Butterfly Weed, Swamp Milkweed, Wild Columbine
- Northeast: Rough-Stemmed Goldenrod, Cardinal Flower, Blue Vervain, Pinxterbloom Azalea
- Northwest: Coast Fawn Lily, Red Columbine, Pacific Coast Hybrid Iris
- Southeast: Wild Indigo, Narrowleaf Sunflower, ‘Cosmic Eye’ Coreopsis, Seashore Mallow
- Southwest: Rock Rose, Orange Zexmenia, Scarlet Globe-Mallow
#3 Mix Bush Styles to Add Texture
Let’s be honest, a whole row of tiny boxwood shrubs spaced evenly apart can look pretty boring. We’re all for symmetry, which is why we love neatly trimmed shrubs. But mixing in ones that aren’t as neatly trimmed adds texture, as illustrated in the redesign above. To give a new life to neatly trimmed bushes, we suggest growing a few native shrubs with organic shapes next to them. However, too many untamed native plants can start to look more like weeds, so make sure to routinely maintain them.
We are also big proponents for choosing fewer, larger bushes rather than several small ones. For one, planting small shrubs too closely together can stunt their growth. Secondly, multiple small bushes can give your lawn a cluttered look. A professional landscape designer can help you choose the right bushes to pair together.
#4 Landscaping Walls Can Hide Exposed Foundation
We know that foundations are super important, but that doesn’t mean we really like looking at them. They’re functional, but not super pretty. Luckily you can disguise them with a handy landscaping wall. Sandwich a layer of soil between the wall and foundation, and then top it off with shrubs, and voilà! You’ve got a sophisticated landscape. Landscaping walls are also useful for more than just hiding an unsightly foundation. They can also work as retaining walls to manage runoff water and prevent downhill erosion. Talk with a landscaping contractor to learn whether your home’s location rests downhill from soil fault lines. If so, you have another very valid reason to invest in a landscaping wall.
Design tip: For a twist on the traditional cinderblock retaining wall, consider choosing natural stones. You can even create a pattern with alternating colors.
#5 Grow Arborvitae for a Quick and Stunning Yard Addition
Arborvitae is a classic, tall, and skinny evergreen tree that grows super fast. In fact, these trees sprout about three feet per year. However, they can grow to reach 60 feet tall once they reach maturity, so we don’t usually suggest planting a whole row of this variety directly in front of your home. However, we think one or two of them look stunning in the front lawn, especially if you plant them about eight feet away from your home. Another way to get the most out of Arborvitae is to use it as a privacy wall for a sitting area located off to the side of your home. Here, you can easily forget you’re in a residential neighborhood next to a busy street for a moment or two. In fact, carving out cozy spaces with this tree is one of our favorite, secret landscaping ideas.
Overall, landscaping doesn’t have to be so difficult! With a few landscape ideas, your home will stand out in no time. If you’re looking for more landscape ideas, click here.
Do house design woes have you down? brick&batten can help. Working alongside you, we’ll come up with plans for an exterior makeover and illustrate our ideas with a realistic rendering. Beautiful walkways and porches are a great way to greet guests and only help your curb appeal.