Daily Necessities

4 Gorgeous Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

May 18,2024 by Matthew Bell

When it comes to the front yard, a manicured lawn isn’t the only way to go. In fact, grass may be your least interesting option, says renowned Los Angeles landscape designer Scott Shrader . “They’ve been out of fashion for 25 years, in my opinion,” he says. “The fertilizer, the water, the mowing—all that energy goes into a green patch that isn’t really doing much aesthetically.” Instead, Shrader sees front yard landscaping as a chance to set a distinct tone for your property: “Your house doesn't start at front door—it starts at the street.” Here are some of the most stunning, creative, and (bonus!) low-maintenance ideas from his recent projects.

Make the grounds a destination

Whereas an expanse of grass may not warrant a second look, “this garden is meant to stop you,” says Shrader. He used reclaimed brick to create a herringbone-patterned walkway, added a soothing water feature, and placed a bench nearby to take it all in.

Employ hedges in a modern way

For the front yard of this French Normandy–style house, Shrader found inspiration in the homeowner’s extensive art collection. A graphic layout of boxwoods surrounded by evergreen pear trees is like living modern sculpture. The effect is as striking when viewed from above as it is while walking its paths, which are lined with Del Rio gravel.

Rethink how you define borders

This glass-fronted home calls for an outdoor space that makes an impact indoors, too. Shrader achieved that by edging a cobblestone path with structural plantings, including agave and boxwood globes. Olive trees provide a bit of romance—and welcome shade.

Use grass as an accent

This expansive front yard has five gardens, each with its own look. For this area, Shrader interspersed concrete squares with grass and planted a small patch of lawn alongside the pattern. “Rather than just laying down sod, pick the right spot to use grass,” he says. “It looks impactful and considered—not like you had no other idea what to do.”

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