6 Front Yard Landscaping Ideas for Cold Climates

Your front yard is your first impression to friends, neighbors, and passers-by. Some front yard maintenance is even required by homeowners associations or by landlords. In cold climates like New England and the Midwest, it can feel impossible to keep a front yard looking vibrant during the long winter seasons.

Landscaping is still an important investment for anyone living in a single-family home. Whether you’re an owner or renting to own the property, landscaping improves the curb appeal of your house and is a necessary form of preventative maintenance.

Here are six landscaping ideas for cold-climate dwellers who want to improve their property values with some front yard beautification.

1. Plant Cold-Friendly Trees

Evergreens are a familiar sight in cold climates — and for good reason. Trees that don’t drop their leaves in the wintertime are one way to improve the appearance of a front lawn with increased greenery during a long winter.

If a large conifer is too much of a commitment, consider investing in trees with colorful bark, such as coral bark maples. The bright bark will add color and character to a front lawn even after the leaves drop for the winter season.

2. Invest in Evergreen Shrubs

Shrubs are a popular, low-maintenance lawn adornment for homeowners in any climate. Cold climes in particular can benefit from the hardy, cold-resistant nature of many shrubs.

If you want to add some greenery and character to the front of your home, consider planting a row of shrubs under your front windows, or along a driveway or front walkway. Some winter-tolerant shrubs include holly bushes, winter creepers, boxwood, and smaller conifers.

3. Plant Winter or Early Spring-Blooming Flowers

Most of us associate flowers with the arrival of spring and warm weather, but some flowers appear early in the season or even when the weather is still cold.

Planting early spring flowers like snowdrops and daffodils before the ground freezes in the fall will introduce beautiful, vibrant colors to your front yard in the earliest days of spring. Depending on the severity of your winter season, planting Lenten roses or winter berries can bring some life to your front lawn.

Planting perennials, or flowers that don’t require replanting every year, is also one of the best ways to save money on lawn care — a bonus for cold-weather gardeners who don’t want to break the bank.

4. Get Creative with Outdoor Decor

If it’s already too cold to introduce new plants, decorate above the ground instead. Adding decorative elements like stones and sculptures is a way to showcase your personality on the outside of your house.

One fun way to add some personality to a front lawn is by creating a fairy garden. Start with a patch of mulch or other empty areas of your lawn. Add small objects to the area, like toy stools, mushrooms, pebbles, or anything you find charming. Before long, you’ll have your fairy garden to add whimsy to your front lawn.

5. Build an Outdoor Patio

For a more substantive investment in your property, add a porch or patio to the front of your home. A front porch adds charm and another outdoor surface to decorate and make your own.

Many front porches are level with the front door or foundation of the house, but you could even create a small patio out of stones for seating during the warmer months. Just make sure any porch or patio you invest in is weather-protected, along with any outdoor furniture.

6. Add Decorative Lights

Outdoor lights aren’t just for the holidays. If your winters are especially dark, outdoor lights can brighten your space, making it more inviting for guests.

Electric lights embedded in the ground light up front walkways or driveways, and provide added light for your shrubs and sculptures. You can even invest in colorful light bulbs to create a custom lighting scheme that’s sure to impress.

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