Dress Up Your Tree in the Front Yard
Many homeowners have at least a single tree in the front yard. Trees are the only plants that are large enough to work with the scale of a house; however, you can add color and interest to it to make it magnificent.
How to Design a Front Yard Tree Bed
When you add trees to your landscape design, you add shade and ambiance to your entire lawn. By itself, a lone tree may just look like an exclamation point in your lawn that just kinda got there by accident. However, when you create a beautiful bed around it while making the tree the focal point it adds so much more beauty and grace to your home.
Size and Shape
The first step of making a tree bed is to design the shape and size. You can make your tree bed any size you wish that will still fit in with the scale of your home. If it’s not very big, however, it may look a bit odd and on the other hand, you don’t want to consume your entire lawn with the one-bed design. Many people just opt for around tree bed because it offsets the clean, straight lines of the front of their home. However, an asymmetrical design or a certain shape will give it much more interest. You can design a beautiful tree bed in the shape of Texas to show your love for your heritage and your home. It’s easiest to place a rope or a string on the ground in the shape and size you wish and then to remove the grass inside the design and loosen the soil. Make certain that you use good quality soil to backfill the shape in with so your plants will all thrive.
Raised Tree Beds
In order to get the full effect of a front yard tree bed, it helps to make a raised bed around it. If you have sloping property, you can raise only one side to actually make it level on all sides. A great design is to add a border to the raised tree bed that will be a contrasting color. Think of brown, tan or gray stone that is maybe a foot tall all around the edges. Raising a flowerbed gives it more interest and defines it in your landscape design. You can match your border to the same color as your home to tie the tree bed in with it.
Don’t Mess with My Roots
The best idea for the area in close proximity to the tree is to put some seasonal plants in large terra cotta pots. This eliminates the need to dig in the ground around the base of the tree, which could possibly disturb the roots and cause harm to your tree. You can easily remove the seasonal plants or flowers from the pots when they fade or die and replace them quickly in pots, rather than having to rework the soil in the tree bed. An excellent choice is red and the traditional blue color of bluebonnets. They will have bountiful blooms in the early spring that last many months. Verbenas are great flowering performers that stay covered with flowers all season long and they don’t break apart or get any bald spots. Consider replacing the annuals in your pots in the fall with pansies for a great surprise of beauty in many color combinations, such as yellow, purple, blue and orange shades. These will stay hardy for several months.
Adding Perennials to the Bed
Next, you should plan on perennials to add to your tree bed. Perennials are plants that last many years and they don’t need to be replaced seasonally. The blooms will fade, but they will still have foliage in the winter for year-round interest in your tree bed. Some favorites in Texas are Yarrow with its tall stalks and yellow blooms on the top and Hinckley’s Columbine, which has exotic shaped yellow flowers that look much like stars against the dark green foliage. Summer phlox is a very hardy plant that is drought tolerant and grows about 3 feet tall to add some height to your tree bed. The blooms are magenta pink for an excellent display of color.
Add Greenery to the Tree Bed
The greenery in your tree bed compliments the flowering plants and fills in bare spots between your other plantings. Creeping Phlox is an excellent ground cover and it blooms in shades of white, purple, blue and pink. It grows to a height of about 6 inches tall. Lamb’s Ear has lush, silvery leaves all year round so you can enjoy it in the winter months as well as in the spring when it sprouts purple flowers. Dianthus is a moderately spreading plant that features blue-green foliage all year long and has pink flowers that are scented like cloves.
You can create a lot of interest in your front yard tree bed by thinking outside the box. Consider placing a few pots in the flower bed on their sides and planting your ground covers in them so it appears as if the pot spilled over and they grew out of it. You can also add some coleus in bright colors for interest in the winter when you no longer have blooms. Some of the most popular varieties are Watermelon with an electric pink center and a lime green edge on the leaves and Chocolate Covered Cherry with a non-fading leaf pattern of red surrounded in brown.
It’s quite easy to make a lone tree in your front yard celebrate color all year round with the addition of flowering plants and greenery as well as annuals in pots. The neighbors will likely be jealous of your tree bed when you win the yard of the month prize.