Front House Landscape Design (and Perennial Garden)

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By Jess
1 Aug 2023
front exterior with new ipe stairs and enclosed porch

I’ve been holding back on sharing our front house landscape design because (as always) I keep waiting for it to be done. But is anything ever really done? Especially with gardening and landscaping, things are always in progress. It’s a constant state of weeding, growing, changing, evolving, and that’s what I love so much about it. I can not wait to see this grow and change over the years. For now, I wanted to share a little before and after, and talk about how we improved our front house landscape design.

Front House Landscape Design

The first thing you might notice from the before and after is the siding. Craig ripped off all the vinyl (and clapboard underneath that) and replaced it with nickel gap cypress siding. He redid the plaster along the foundation, and enclosed the front porch adding windows and a new front door. He then built a small awning to cover the front windows and doors, as well as building new front steps and a paver walkway. It absolutely transformed the look of the house. I’ll get more into that process later this summer. We still have to paint the trim and soffit (we chose a neutral beige).

The front of the house before with vinyl siding an open porch and large stone planters/beds

As far as landscaping, the house did not have good drainage, and in fact had massive stone planters on both sides that pushed water towards the house. It was a headache in the winter and would have been an absolute nightmare with all the rain and flooding we’ve had this summer. I am so glad we finished this before that got really bad.

We had a local landscaping company (Arborscape) remove the stone planters and I’m glad we spent the money on that because it was a big job for two guys with a tractor and a dump truck. Once they removed those, we got to work.

We decided to use river rock pea gravel that we found at a local building supply (Britton’s Lumber). We used it for drainage from the foundation out about 5 feet. We did that at 3 inches deep and then used steel garden edging to separate from the perennial beds. We had to remove all the grass and a lot of rocks and weeds so we decided to rent a tractor from Home Depot which was money well spent. Craig was able to remove all the dirt and grass with the tractor, and move the pea gravel and mulch around, which would have been very difficult with the two of us doing it by hand.

front exterior landscape design with pea gravel, perennial flower beds and paver walkway

My main goal with our front landscaping was for it to be low maintenance. I chose a variety of perennials and native plants, some very bird and butterfly friendly, along with some old favorites (hydrangeas) to fill the mulch beds. Here’s a list of what I planted so far, I also want to plant some tick seed and chamomile but didn’t get a chance to find any I liked.

Native Plants and Perennial Garden

  • Echinacea ‘Coneflower’ (multiple varieties)
  • Limelight Hydrangeas
  • Shasta Daisies
  • Geum ‘Lady Clementine’
  • Catmint (multiple varieties)
  • Russian Sage
  • Butterfly Bush

A lot of the plants are still very small but will get much larger over the next few years. There’s a lot of dirt on the opposite side of the pavers as the grass got damaged when we used the tractor. We put grass seed along the pavers to grow it back but we’ve had so much rain. Just have to be patient with that!

Overall I love how this vision came to life and I’m excited to share more of the progress as we go. Anyone else tackling landscaping projects or gardening at the moment? Let me know! I have lots of other posts on gardening topics, check them out here.

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  1. It’s so peaceful!

    8.7.23 | Reply
  2. What a stunning transformation of your front house landscape design! The choice of nickel gap cypress siding and the addition of windows and a new front door truly gave your home a fresh, inviting look. I love how you prioritized low maintenance with the selection of perennials and native plants – a smart choice for any homeowner.

    One tip I’d like to add is to consider installing a rain garden in your yard to further enhance drainage and sustainability. Rain gardens are not only eco-friendly but also help manage excess rainwater effectively.


    10.8.23 | Reply

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