The Garden Path
Front Yard Landscaping Ideas for Fall
By:  Miles Campbell
                                                                                                                                                            Campbell & Ferrara Outdoor Living

Fall LandscapingThe days are getting shorter, the kids are back in school, and there’s a crispness in the air.  It’s time to give your Alexandria, VA, front yard a boost to welcome your neighbors and upgrade your curb appeal.  Did you know that an attractive front yard improves your property’s value? According to, landscaping can increase your property’s value between five to 15%.

A beautiful front yard also invites your neighbors and friends to your home. And you can look forward to coming home when you’re greeted with a symmetrical front landscape.  Finally, your neighborhood improves when homeowners pay attention to their front yard design. There’s less crime, and folks are vigilant in keeping their front yards looking beautiful.

Perennials Add Continuous Color to Your Front Yard
The architecture of your home determines the fall landscaping color scheme. Since your front door is the focal point of your front yard, you also want to consider its color and style. (You may wish to consider planting Coral Bells, Pansies, Ornamental Cabbage & Kale, Ornamental Garlic, Dwarf Ornamental Grasses, Chrysanthemums, Black Eyed Susans and Snapdragons.)

For example, if you have a red door, you want to complement it with browns, oranges, and yellows, typical fall colors. You can add a pop of blue and green to add contrast to your flowerbeds.  Sedum’s blue-green leaves against crimson flower heads will accessorize your front yard seamlessly. Perennials, like Stonecrop sedums, black-eyed Susans, and ornamental grasses, give you a better ROI compared to using only annuals because they come up every year.

You can control the front yard’s continuous color by planting a mixture of perennials that bloom from spring to fall.  Many perennials and bulbs reproduce yearly, making your fall planting look fuller within two to three years.

Symmetry & Repetition Produce Formality
Remember that repetition and symmetry provide formality when designing your front yard landscape. Your eyes look for balance in your fall garden because we instinctively look for order. After all, chaos overwhelms the senses.  So, you want to repeat plantings in your fall garden, so there’s order in the landscape for the eyes to rest. Repetitive planting allows people to follow the order and gives balance to your garden.  Add a paver or flagstone walkway that leads to your front door. For order, you can flank both sides of your front walkway and steps with the same plants.

For example, many homeowners use shrubs and ornamental trees as anchor plants for a symmetrical front yard design.  You can enhance your front ‘s formality and beauty by adding landscape lighting to highlight your plantings and those anchor trees and shrubs.  Spotlights accenting a focal point, or the entrance of your home improve your landscape’s symmetry. Add walkway lights or step lighting so visitors can safely see where they’re walking while guiding them to your front door.

Highlight Your Front Door with Planters
Planters can support your focal point. Plus, you can change out your plantings each season, including the fall, to add a punch of color and texture that contrasts with your front door.  Add ornamental cauliflower and kale to your planters to provide a zip of color and textural interest in the fall. Ornamental vegetables deepen their color the colder it gets in the fall.

You can also include real pumpkins, gourds, faux fall leaves, or wheat bundles for an autumnal look.  Plant dwarf evergreens or ornamental grasses in containers for continual color even after a deep frost in late fall. Planters come in all sizes and colors. You can have fun planning your fall gardening with planters.

Renovate Your Front Yard for a Fresh Fall Look
Take a long look at your front yard. What can you do to refresh its look to make it welcoming to you, your friends, and your neighbors?  Transplant coneflowers, black-eyed susans, sedums, and other perennials that overgrew their current spot. Trim any shrubs that look shaggy and deadhead any flowers past their prime.  Tear out your old walkway and put in a new walkway with a small patio in another part of your front yard.

Use Corners for a Cottage Garden Feel
Have you ever walked by a home with fencing and flowers highlighting the corners of a front yard?  It feels so homey and welcoming.  Enhance that cottage-like feel by using your front yard’s corners. Add a white picket fence and some coneflowers or black-eyed Susans for a colorful cottage garden design. You can also repeat planting of rose bushes if you prefer a vintage look for the corners of your lot.


Campbell & Ferrara
8351 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, VA 22309
(703) 354-6724   .


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