Hanging baskets on your porch can add flowers to your landscape without taking up space in the yard.
Your front yard provides the first impression that guests have of your home, so the right landscape design is important. When you're dealing with a small yard, though, planning the right look can be a challenge. Add a porch to the mix and you have even less space to work with. However, there are ways to turn even the smallest yard and porch into a first-rate landscape, with careful planning and a little creativity.
In a small front yard, you may not have space for flower beds or other in-ground plantings. However, that doesn't mean that you can't use plants and flowers to add a pop of color to your landscape. Hanging baskets from your porch to hold colorful flowers fills vertical space that would otherwise go unused. Flower baskets are available in a variety of materials, styles and colors, so you can choose an option that complements your home's exterior. Some baskets even feature decorative patterns that can add a bold look to your porch and landscape. Alternatively, planters can attach directly to the porch railing or serve as window boxes, painted to match the railing or in a contrasting shade to make them stand out.
When space is at a premium in your yard, you must choose planting sites carefully to avoid crowding the area. Instead of planting shrubs or hedges along the sides or front of your yard, use them to hide ugly screening along the bottom of your porch. Low-growing shrubs do the job without making your yard look too small. Choose evergreen options like Green Velvet boxwood (Buxus "Green Velvet"), which grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 to 9 and reaches heights of 2 to 3 feet, or Compact inkberry (Ilex glabra "Compacta"), which is hardy in USDA zones 4 to 9 and grows to 3 or 4 feet. You can extend your shrub plantings away from the porch if you want to soften your landscape's look, but don't take them all the way to edge of your yard or it may feel closed in. Instead, leave the front half of your yard free of shrubs to give the illusion of a wider space.
Use Lattice as Privacy Screen
If your front yard is small, using fencing to provide privacy can make the space feel even more cramped. For added privacy on your porch, consider adding lattice panels along the sides where your home faces a neighbor's property. Attach the lattice to the porch rail and roof, so the porch is shielded from view, creating a private dining area or spot for seating. For even more privacy, train climbing vines or flowers to grow over the lattice panels. Alternatively, hang exterior porch blinds or shades that can open and close. Available in a variety of colors, outdoor blinds and shades can coordinates with your home's exterior. Planting a hedge screen on the side where the porch faces the neighbor's house is another privacy option. Wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera) is an ideal option for a hedge screen in USDA zones 3 to 10, reaching heights more than 15 feet.
Don’t Forget Pots
Potted plants are an ideal landscaping option if you have a small yard and front porch. You can use planters on the porch, with large topiary trees in decorative pots accenting the front door, or smaller planters lining your porch steps with decorative greenery. Planters also work well in the yard because they are easy to move around for creating the ideal arrangement for your landscape. Use a single large planter in each front corner of your property or cluster several smaller planters together featuring plants of varying heights to add dimension to the yard.