Tree or shrub borders complement a square-shaped yard while also creating privacy. Choose small to medium-sized trees and shrubs because over-sized oak trees can take up too much space. If you like large trees, plant these in the middle of your yard so the tree has plenty of room to spread. Space small dogwood, cherry blossom, thin-leaf alder trees five or more feet apart to provide plenty of room for the trees to spread. Lavender shrubs, dogwood shrubs, beauty bush, chokeberry or bayberry bushes also make decorative yard borders. Feature all trees around the exterior border of your yard or plant a combination of trees of shrubs, depending on what you like. Focus on featuring one or more tree or shrub forms. According to the University of Florida Extension, tree and shrub forms come in shapes such as columnar, oval, weeping, vase-shaped and round. You can mix and match various shaped plants to create dimension.
Large square front yards provide plenty of flexibility and space to showcase rows of trees, blooming flowers and ornamental hedges. The large square shape frames the house and provides a traditional, panoramic view of your plants as you walk up to your front door. You can work with the outer square shape of the yard or create additional dimensions within a square yard.
Tree or Shrub Exterior Borders
Winding Paths and Lush Grass
Add different dimensions to a square yard by creating a winding path that begins at the your driveway or yard and extends up to your front yard walkway. The large square shape of the yard frames the winding path, making it stand out. You can create this path with a combination of small and large stones to create a large river bed stone look. Another idea involves burying small tree stumps along the path to create a woodsy or natural effect. The tree stumps are buried deep with only the top rounded portion of the stump sitting flat on the dirt. Large, flat square-shaped stones can also work and this adds the to the square-shapes already seen within your yard. Plant lush grass throughout the entire yard and feature flowers around the border of the house or directly along the exterior of the path.
Fences with Flower Borders
The traditional look of a white picket fence with flowers on one or both sides blends well with a square yard. Choose a white picket fence if you have white shutters, trim or other features on your house that would blend nicely with this type of fence. Iron or old-fashioned fences might look better with a brick fence. Plant grass in the yard and feature a flower border around the fence on the exterior or interior. You can plant the flowers directly in the ground or line the fence with flowers filled with decorative flower pots. Choose flowers that grow best in your area. Small flowering bushes such as the butterfly bush or lavender shrubs can also go well alongside a fence.
Create a retaining wall around your house with bricks or stone. You can surround retaining walls with grass and choose low-growing plants to spread around the border of the wall. Train flowering vines to grow up your retaining wall and feature low-growing dwarf shrubs such as the Japanese boxwood or dwarf hackberry. A retaining wall blends into the landscape and creates a more rounded shape within a square yard. Retaining walls can vary in size from 4 to 15 feet, depending on what type of look you want to design. Hire a landscaping company to build a professional retaining wall, unless you have the skills to design the wall yourself.
- Clemson State University Extension: Low-Maintenance Landscape Ideas
- Florida State University Extension: Basic Principles of Landscape Design
- Colorado State University: Small Deciduous Trees
- University of Missouri Extension: Selecting Landscape Plants: Deciduous Shrubs
- University of Missouri Extension: Landscaping Your Front Yard
- This Old House: Engineering a Retaining Wall
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