Which plants will make my front yard look more expensive? These are the types landscape designers always buy into

Landscape architects and designers explain which plants they choose to make a front yard look a million times more luxe

modern front yard
(Image credit: Ulysse Lemerise)

We believe the front yard is one of the most important parts of a home. The front yard frames your journey to the front door, it defines the mood of guests as you welcome them in, and sets the tone for the rest of your home.

Let's face it, everyone wants their front yard to look expensive. Regardless of personal style, there is a conscious desire to make your home look appealing to onlookers. We want our neighbours to be jealous, and passers-by to notice our plant configurations. Landscape designers suggest modern front yard design is moving away from the traditional pristine lawn and white picket fence, the fail-safe for many.

Although it is a simple request, it can be difficult to know what plants to go for. It is not until you plant those varieties you've picked up from your local nursery that you realize that they actually cheapen the look of your space. That's why we have enlisted the help of professional gardeners and landscapers to educate us on how to plant for an expensive-looking front yard. With a few strategic planting decisions, your frontage will be transformed into a vision of luxury.

1. Architectural plants

If you were inspired by the anti-lawn trend and you are eager to move away from the standard grass and picket fence vision, you should consider adding some variety with unusual architectural plants. Featuring unique plants invokes intrigue, by adding new colors and textures you are diversifying your front yard to create something quite spectacular. It gives the impression of intentionality and design, equalling major expensive vibes.

'Architectural pants include species with distinct shapes or patterns, like Japanese maples or ornamental grasses,' says landscape designer Jake Sebok of Arch Landscape Architecture. 'They serve as captivating focal points when trying to create an expensive-looking front yard.'

Another great advantage of these types of plants is that they are ideal for a low-maintenance front yard. A large part of creating a picturesque front yard is keeping it well-maintained, choosing low-maintenance plants is a smart move when trying to achieve this.

2. Think simple

There is no magic plant that will make your front yard look expensive, nor are there really any plants that will make it look cheap. There are, however, placements and styling techniques that will have a profound effect on the look of your space.

'The biggest mistake that will cheapen the look of your yard is having too many plants,' explains Jake, 'especially if they're immature or poorly maintained. It can make a space feel cluttered and haphazard.'

To avoid this keep it simple. Focus on a few key elements and do them well. 'A well-designed garden can make even the most common plants look expensive,' agrees principal landscape architect at Studio Arth, Rituparna Simlai. 'It's not about using a particular type of plants, but rather how you arrange and present them that adds a touch of exclusivity. A thoughtful design can set a trend, and anything that is trending is perceived as valuable and high-end,' she explains.

Utilizing plants that complement each other is an easy way to make your front yard more cohesive and harmonious. 

3. Mature Trees

There is no denying that mature trees offer a sense of splendor, that being said they are not appropriate for all spaces. Time and price are also important considerations. But if you are looking for a singular showstopper that also works as a privacy tree then this suggestion might be for you.

'Mature trees, particularly those with a good canopy or interesting bark, add a sense of grandeur and permanence that looks expensive,' says Jake. My personal favorite is an aged olive tree in an oversized terracotta pot, they add such a powerful statement to any space.

4. Plant with symmetry

As we have said the overall look and feel of your front yard isn't as much dependant on what you plant, but how you plant it. One of the big takeaways we have from our landscape designers is that classic plants in a neat border can be the simplest way to achieve the desired look. 

'Consider incorporating some classic and elegant plants like hydrangeas, peonies, or roses,' advises gardening expert Zahid Adnan. 'Symmetrical arrangements and well-maintained borders also elevate the overall appearance.'

Keeping it simple and well-executed is an easy way to elevate your front yard with minimal effort. A small change such as lawn edging can have a significant effect so keep an eye out for marginal gains you can make as these together will have the biggest influence. And remember less is always more. Keep this lesson in mind when you decide to tackle your own project.

3 of the best luxury-look plants

Amy McArdle
News writer

Amy recently completed an MA in Magazine Journalism at City, University of London, with experience writing for Women’s lifestyle publications across arts, culture, and beauty. She has a particular love for the minimalist aesthetic mixed with mid-century furniture, especially combining unique vintage finds with more modern pieces. Her previous work in luxury jewellery has given her a keen eye for beautiful things and clever design, that plays into her love of interiors. As a result, Amy will often be heard justifying homeware purchases as 'an investment', wise words to live by.