I would like to add more interest to my front yard. Can you provide some guidance as to what plants/shrubs I should plant and where?
I’ve attached pictures.
Hello – We’d love to recommend some plants for your front yard but first we need some additional information. In order to make plant suggestions that we can be sure will thrive in your garden we need to understand the gardening conditions in your front yard including: the amount of sunlight, type of soil and location. From the photo you provided, it looks like a sunny yard. Do you get direct sun on the whole yard at least 6 hours of the day? This amount of sunlight is considered full sun. 3-6 hours of direct sunlight is considered part sun and is best if the sunlight is received in the morning or early afternoon. Less than 3 hours is full shade. The type of soil you have will determine how well moisture is drained. Is it very sandy in which case any water will drain away quickly? If it has more clay, water will drain more slowly. Finally, we need your location in order to determine your plant hardiness zone to ensure any plants we suggest will survive the winter in your area.
In addition, we need to understand the overall design or ‘look’ of the garden you are after. Master Gardeners are not necessarily equipped to provide advice on garden design but rather, best practices in areas of horticulture, soil science, and pest control – i.e., more science-based topics. Front yards are becoming much more diverse in style. Some home owners want to eliminate all lawn and create a native plant garden to benefit pollinators or a vegetable garden. Many want a more natural appearance that makes use of shrubs, grasses and groundcovers. How much lawn do you want to maintain? Do you want to add more shade? Are you after year round colour? How do you plan to use your front yard? The answers to such questions will guide the selection of additional plant material.
There are lots of resources available that can provide inspiration. Looking at photos and plans of different gardens can give you ideas for your garden. Landscape Ontario has some garden designs online, as well as a comprehensive list of garden designers whose websites provide inspiration: https://landscapeontario.com/tag/garden-design. There are popular blogs which can provide insight into design principles, challenges, and benefits of the small garden, for example: https://www.thespruce.com/garden-design-for-small-spaces-1402338 and https://www.thespruce.com/creating-focal-points-in-garden-design-1402337 . An excellent book with lots of photos of different garden styles is ‘Front Yard Gardens – Growing More Than Grass’ by local garden writer, Liz Primeau.
Enjoy planning your garden. We hope to hear back from you with more information.