Top 10 Landscaping Ideas That Will Wow Your Neighbors

You don’t have to hire a landscaper to obtain a put-together front lawn, and you don’t need to be or hire a pro gardener to maintain it. With a little creativity, you can spruce up your home’s curb appeal and make a lasting impression on your neighbors. Here’s a list of low-maintenance landscaping ideas to spark inspiration.

Are you about to tackle a DIY landscaping job? To see your plans come together before investing in plants, stone, and gravel, consider a brick&batten virtual exterior design. We’ll provide design expertise, realistic renderings, and a convenient resource list. 

#1 Wondering What to Do With Your Patchy Grass? Gravel It.

Let’s say you live in a dry climate. Realistically, you can either spend a fortune on your water bills letting your sprinkler run, opt for obviously fake grass, or lean into the desert look with gravel. And as you can see by the stunning image above, you can use gravel in an extremely tasteful way. We also love this tip for front lawns that aren’t ideal for grass growth, like lawns with too much shade or poor soil.

Outdoor fireplace

#2 Add a Cozy Outdoor Fireplace

We’re all for placing an outdoor fireplace in your home’s backyard, but we encourage our clients to break away from tradition and add this element to their front lawns so their neighbors can enjoy the beauty too. However, we only suggest this tip for spacious front lawns, because a large patio can actually be a distraction and create a cluttered look on small lawns.

solar power walkway light

#3 Line Your Walkway With Plants and Solar Lights

If you’ve got a walkway, we say flaunt it. Right now, the plant-lined walkway trend is reigning strong. However, we’re betting that this style is here to stay, thanks to its classic roots. We love using plants that show off year-round, so we often suggest evergreens like boxwood to our clients. However, there’s something to be said for unique bulb plants like Taro, commonly referred to as elephant ears.

Adding solar lights to the mix is not only practical, but it also adds a romantic, dreamy look to your home on summer nights. And to be honest, we fall hard for ambient light in general. You’ll feel sort of like you’re walking the red carpet every time you walk to your front door.

#4 Make Way for Your Guests With a Stone Walkway

No walkway yet? No problem. Adding rectangular pieces of material like slate slabs is an easy way to create one. In fact, this is one of our favorite landscaping ideas, thanks to its affordability and large impact. First, measure your desired path and calculate how many stepping stones you’ll need, making sure to account for adequate spacing. Then, lay out the pattern and trace the stones with a spade, cutting into the turf. Lift the stones, remove the turf, dig a hole that’s deep enough to fit the stone, and let your new stepping stones settle into their spots. If the stones rise too high above the ground, you’ll need to dig deeper. This can pose a tripping hazard to guests. We also love this approach for laying stones.

Commercial Outdoor Lights

#5 Add a Sitting Garden With Stringed Lights

Most people place these elements in their backyard, but again, why hide their beauty from the world? Planting a dreamy garden with rose bushes that bloom long into the summer will make your home the envy of the block. And adding a café table set with or a picnic table makes a garden a peaceful oasis for extroverts who want to enjoy their evening tea while waving to friends on their strolls. We especially love this option for homes that lack a front porch.

Again, we’re going to push some ambient light on you. Placing a simple string of lights above the garden will make your front lawn look straight out of a storybook. It will also show off the glow on your friends’ faces while you’re splitting a charcuterie board on a Saturday night.

#6 Layer Your Plants

What’s better than one row of plants? Two rows of plants, of course. Filling your plant bed with a variety of low maintenance shrubs and flowers makes it look more complete and professional.

But to master the trend, you’ll need to take two factors into consideration. For starters, place the larger plants in the back and the smaller in the front. But since some plants grow taller and faster than others, you’ll need to consult with your local greenhouse owner or do your research. Or else you’ll probably have to pick up your trimmers more often than you’d like. Seasonality is another factor to consider. You don’t want half of your plants to look lively while the others look dead. Also, be careful with plants like bamboo. While it looks stunning, it can easily grow too tall and turn your front lawn into a forest.

#7 Use a Retaining Wall

Okay, we’ll admit, compared to the other landscaping tips, this one is more of an investment. But it’s one of those go-big-or-go-home moves, and it’s sure to impress your neighbors. Rather than adding a tiny picket fence, consider working with a professional to create a stone retaining wall that frames your home’s entry. This element can also add a sense of privacy without completely hiding your home too much from your neighbors. In other words, this tip is for the introverts and the sitting garden is for the extroverts. And one last word to the wise about retaining walls: Make sure to match your home’s gate style to your home’s architecture style. The goal is to make the gate look like it was put there the year your home was built. As in the example above, the retaining wall matches the stone used to frame the garage door.

#8 Two Words: Potted Plants

Meet the weekend DIYers BFF: Potted plants. They can really elevate the look of your entire front lawn, and it doesn’t require digging into your soil and potentially hitting a pipe. You can really get creative with seasonal colors, and we suggest adding some taller ones for height. Keep in mind that you may need to water potted plants more than traditional landscaping plants, especially if they’re under a covered porch.

rafter tails and eaves

#9 Play around With Landscaping Stones

Out of all the landscaping ideas, this one will really help you get your workout in. While moving around landscaping stones requires a lot of energy and tools like a wheelbarrow or dolly, these flexible elements give an organic look to your flower bed. We especially love oversized stones (but hire an insured professional to place these ones), and you can honor your land’s natural history by choosing native rocks. Large landscaping stones break up the monotony of mulch. You can also use medium-sized stones to separate a garden bed from the grass.

outdoor water feature

#10 Add a Water Feature

There’s something quintessentially sophisticated about a fountain. However, you can turn heads with a more artistic water feature. We’ve seen even historic homes look lovely with modern fountains. Balancing the two styles can be tricky, so working with a professional exterior designer before splurging on a fountain is a good plan. An exterior designer can also offer you even more unique landscaping ideas.

If you need help with landscaping ideas, brick&batten is here to help. Get started on your home makeover today.