Everyone wants an attractive front yard, beauty being in the eye of the beholder. Thou art the beholder; let’s start there… please yourself.
Tree lattice, this is a variation on a design called the Belgium doublet. Plant young trees a foot or two apart, but angle the trees toward each other. Weave the trees over and under, tie them where they cross, shave a little bark off and they will grow together.
Loose the lawn, grow some food. Today more and more home owners look at their lawn and realize that it’s time for a change! Originally the lawn was a symbol enjoyed by nobility who wanted people to know they were wealthy enough that they could just grow grass instead of vegetables in their yards. Vegetables are back, rip out the lawn and put some organic fresh food on your table. Same amount of water, no mowing. Make your statement.
Arborsculpture is the art of shaping live tree trunks. With its roots in medieval alchemy, this art form is spreading across landscapes worldwide. Young trees are simply bent and pruned into desired shapes. Chairs, gazebos, bridges, boats, or even a drive through archway where two tree grow into one tree across your drive. There is no limit to the range of shapes one can grow from living trees. The magic of this art is in the fact that trees will grow together when grafted as in the lattice example. Also when a tree is held in place for a few years the new shape is cast permanently. Unusual tree shapes that catch the eye can easily be grown.
Rocks, no water, no weeding, just put them down and they stay there for a million years. Rock work comes in all sizes and shapes. One creative way to use rock is to take a truck with lots of buckets to a landscape supply and fill them with different colored stones. Arrange the stones into a mandala, or try to copy the Zen rock garden idea. For low maintenance yards, stone is hard to beat.
Fruit, less work than vegetables but still contributing to food budget, fruit trees can be used for arborsculpture, lattice work or simply to provide fruit for the table. Apples and pears are some of the easiest to grow. You may like to try some of the multi variety apple trees, where as many as 6 different apples will grow on one tree. If you have a tree like this you will learn what kind you like best and what kind of apples will grow the best in your climate.