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Mid-Atlantic Gardening: Three Front Yard Fixes

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Add front-yard appeal and deal with problems such as slopes and shade with advice from Lowe's Mid-Atlantic garden expert Julie Martens.

Flowers in the front yard make a welcoming first impression.

You don't have to spend big bucks to give your front yard eye-catching curb appeal. Help your home make a great first impression by trying one of these easy-does-it landscape solutions.

Self-sowing flowers cut down on the gardening workload.

A Flowery Welcome

  • Landscape Challenge: Slope
  • Landscape Solution: Cottage garden

A stair-step slope gives this front yard, above, a classic landscape challenge. Stacked concrete pavers restrain the slope. The same pavers, set on end, create a handsome edging for a porch-side planting bed.

To cut down on the annual workload, homeowner Phyllis Jenkins filled beds with self-sowing flowers that return reliably in the Mid-Atlantic region year after year. Self-sowers include black-eyed Susan, cosmos, sweet alyssum, snapdragon and Johnny jump-up.

Shrubs planted on a slope

Low-Maintenance Makeover

  • Landscape Challenge: Slope
  • Landscape Solution: Low-maintenance plantings

Weary of wrestling the lawn mower on a front-yard slope, homeowner Janice Diehl traded turf for a low-maintenance groundcover.

Ground-hugging 'Blue Rug' juniper tumbles down the slope atop a layer of white marble gravel. Beside the steps, dwarf variegated boxwoods sport a no-trim-needed habit. Both plants offer year-round color in the Mid-Atlantic region.

A hidden boulder subtly defines the driveway boundary.

A trio of pretty perennials - lavender, coreopsis and fountain grass - artfully signals the edge of the driveway area.

The perennials disguise a boulder that defines the driveway boundary in snowy winters.

Groundcover can be an effective deep-shade solution.

Dress Up a Shady Spot

  • Landscape Challenge: Deep shade
  • Landscape Solution: Low-maintenance groundcovers

A pair of maples provided cooling shade for Pat and Leroy Witt's home, but also prevented grass from growing. The couple swapped the front lawn for easy-care groundcovers.

Perennial variegated lamium thrives in dry shade beneath the tree on the south side, where a smidge of sunshine filters through leaves. For the darker northern section, gravel hosts a pretty planter stuffed with shade-loving hay-scented ferns. Begonias in a hanging basket add more color to the shady scene.

Solve Your Front-Yard Challenges
If your front yard has issues, look for landscape solutions in someone else’s yard. I found the creative-curb-appeal homes I described in my neighborhood. Take a walk and see what ideas you can find.

See more Mid-Atlantic Gardening Articles.