Landscape Makeover for a Hilly Front Yard

Landscaping that accents the house and frames a front deck also reduces mowing on this steep yard.


Before: In a neighborhood of pretty front yards, this one stands out — and not in a good way. Besides a lot of weeds, there are other issues: The front deck and foundation are too prominent, and the existing shrubs do little to set off the house.


After: The foundation and deck have disappeared, thanks to a coat of paint and a collection of shrubs and trees. Two 'Emerald Green' arborvitae frame the doorway, and a hornbeam provides a vertical accent. A new planter box and summersweet, a shrub that blooms in summer, help add color to the front yard.


Before: The sharp slope in the front yard makes for difficult (and sometimes dangerous) mowing, and there's no design to the landscape.


After: A partial retaining wall and a large planting bed cut down on the amount of lawn that needs to be mowed. A 'Fireglow' Japanese maple serves as a focal point; this 12- to 15-foot specimen has thinner-than-usual leaves, and sunlight shining through the canopy makes the leaves appear to glow.


Black iron railing wrapped around wooden deck area with lattice at bottom edge.


Wide view of hardwood deck flooring with chairs, iron railing, flowers.

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