Front Yard Retaining Walls & Landscaping Ideas

Updated March 23, 2017

Many people’s landscaping designs have two main purposes: attractive curb appeal and allowing people to walk safely from the sidewalk to the door. Most front yards typically have shade or ornamental trees and foundation plants. Some homeowners choose to add landscaping and retaining walls to their front yards to add more value and aesthetics to their houses. There are many ways to enhance front yard appeal by working with the styles of the house and lawn.

Front Door Focus

Some landscapers advise that the front door should always be the front yard’s feature. One way to add this type of appeal is to paint the door a bright colour, such as red. The pathway to the door should be well lit and easily accessible day and night. Large plants should not block the door, because they can make the entrance feel inaccessible and claustrophobic. The overall landscaping design should be symmetrical, with the door positioned in the centre of all elements.


Trees are typically the most dominant landscaping plants, and can be used to frame the house, add energy-efficient shade, block views inside the house and give the yard a feeling of depth. Trees can be used to enhance the size and shape of a house. For example, large shade trees can make a house appear smaller, while planting small trees at the corners can make a house seem wider.


Using shrubs in front-yard landscaping is very common, as they are typically low-maintenance plants that can add security and privacy around windows. Many people use a mix of evergreen, coniferous and deciduous shrubs to ensure year-round coverage. It is usually best to plant shrubs in odd-numbered groups, such as three or five, rather than pairing them or dotting them around the yard.


Many people believe that flowers will bring the desired curb appeal, and can be effective when planted conservatively along the shrub lines. Flowers can be high-maintenance and usually do not have very long bloom periods. They should be viewed as supporting elements that add a touch of colour, rather than the dominant factor in the landscaping design. Choose one or two colours that highlight the house when using flowers.

Retaining Walls

When working with a small front yard or areas that have steep slopes, retaining walls can be added to the landscaping. Retaining walls should typically be less than four feet tall. There are two main types of retaining wall designs: single walls, which separate the yard into two areas, and terraces, which add several levels for a very steep yard. Concrete, decorative concrete, brick, wood and natural stone are materials commonly used for retaining walls.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Denise Brandenberg has more than 15 years professional experience as a marketing copywriter, with a focus in public relations. She also worked as a recruiter for many years and is a certified resume writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English.