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Changing the front yard... into a Front Back Yard?

Changing the front yard... into a Front Back Yard?

Old 04-08-13, 08:46 PM
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Changing the front yard... into a Front Back Yard?

I've always looked at my front yard as a large waste of space. It's fairly big, it's green, and that's it. Can't play on it, hang out on it, can't really enjoy it. I get that some folks like staring at their big green lawn, but that's just not me.

Here's my pad:



I was thinking of one or more of these:
  • Build a small 3ft fence along the sidewalk
  • Plant more evergreens along the sidewalk
  • Remove the front planter
  • Install a gazebo in the front
  • Planting a garden in the front

Does anyone have any cautions, ideas, thoughts on that? Has anyone done this? I'm not really a landscaping pro, but my gut feeling tells me if I build a small stone fence along the sidewalk, plant a row of cedars behind that, and set up a gazebo, I'd have a more livable space.

Then I could really make use of it with a garden, play space, etc.

I should point out I live in northern Canada, we have snow 7 months out of the year. My front lawn gets zero use (as a snow covered wasteland), while my backyard gets all the use (firepit, deck, etc, hot tub, etc.).



Edit: Got pictures working!
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Old 04-09-13, 03:00 AM
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Welcome to the forums! Just observing....Those cedars on the left, facing out will be monsters in a few years. Planted too close together, but it will provide excellent privacy. Your front yard is quite attractive, but that is to the beholder, I guess. If you build a fence of any sort, check your right of way and make sure there are no utilities in your path. Call for a free locating service. Here in the states it is 811. I am not sure I would plant trees too close to fences as trees grow and fences don't shrink, meaning something will eventually have to go or be moved. I would think a low stone/concrete fence along the sidewalk would look fine, and low growing shrubbery behind it as a demarcation point.

IMO, a gazebo may be too much, since you don't use the space. I would reserve that for the back yard, where you would use it more. Most all front yards are not "used", and are there purely for eye candy of the passers by. You get down in the back yard and party, keeping it all contained, so to speak.

Think, too of resale value. I know you may be living there for the rest of your life, but if your plans don't include funeral arrangements, think about what someone else would think of your front yard as a potential buyer.

With that much snow, I believe anything I built would have to be made of stone, as wood sunk in the ground would heave out with the freeze/thaw cycle.
Old 04-10-13, 06:35 PM
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Thanks for the feedback Larry! Yes they will be tight, that was the plan. I love the cedars and the privacy they provide. Big challenge is keeping the deer off of them! I wish they grew faster, based on some previous plantings at other houses they'll double in height within 10 years or so.

Frost heave here is pretty mean, my gate got raised a good 3 inches this winter/fall/spring. I'm not happy about it!
Old 04-11-13, 04:14 AM
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If you decide to install a picket fence along the sidewalk, I'd make it one of those vinyl fences. While it will need cleaning from time to time, it won't need painting - I've never liked painting picket fences

I'd also use some type of planting next to a fence or wall - it will cut down on the weed eating portion of yard work

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