Front Yard Inspiration

by Carlisle Homes


When push comes to shove in the budget juggle of building a new home, some areas notoriously end up at the bottom of the ‘must-do’ list. And, typically garden design and landscaping gets put in the ‘after we move in’ category, which can sometimes stretch to a really long time after the move in!

There’s no need to put it in the too hard and expensive basket if you do some research and careful planning. We have a few tips and ideas to get you started and help the creative juices!

Where to start?

The number one research activity to kick off is a review of your estate design guidelines and covenants. Generally they include a series of requirements together with some design tips and a list of local specialists you may like to consult.

The type of guidelines they might include relate to,

  • Promoting biodiversity (using native plants to create food or habitat for other native species such as butterflies and birds)
  • Supporting water conservation
  • Mature tree/shrub height restrictions and planting proximity to the home
  • Garden design ideas and plant selection
  • Letterbox form and design

Some estates may even require frontyards to be established within the first 3 months of home handover to integrate individual private gardens with parkland areas for optimum streetscape results.


Simple, elegant and low maintenance.

What do you need from this space?

How you see yourself using your frontyard has a big impact on the design you choose, especially when it comes to integrating some of the key functional items such as,

  • Pathway style and location, which could be pavers, decking, concrete to connect the letterbox with the front door,
  • Kids and pets play spaces influencing whether you have a lawn area,
  • Letterbox location and design for a cohesive finished design,
  • Relaxation areas or a spot for a garden bench,
  • Impact street appeal.

Whether you have a definite green thumb, have good intentions, or realistic about your (lacking) passion for gardening, your chosen frontyard design will impact your level of ongoing maintenance. For this reason it is important to be conservative with your estimation of available free time and choose the right option for your lifestyle.

“When designing your landscaping, ensure that you reflect not only the beauty of your home and surroundings, but also the function it serves for your family.” – John Doulgeridis, Managing Director, Carlisle Homes


Depending on which way your frontyard faces, it may be nice to include somewhere to enjoy a morning cuppa in the sun, or an afternoon aperitif!

Where can I source information and advice?

You should make the most of your local councils’ resources who offer its residents advice relating to local plant varieties and suggested biodiversity design ideas. A lot of plant nurseries will also work with you to select suitable plant products if you take in a copy of your home drawings and demonstrate you have put some time into researching and planning. A visit to Bunnings DIY Planting and Growing online workshops are a definite must-see in your research plan!

Going for street appeal

When getting into the design phase a fundamental aspect to consider is the amount of sun your frontyard will see throughout the day. Essentially, the direction your garden faces will significantly impact your final design and plant selection.

  • A north facing garden is impacted by the sun ALL DAY which means selecting hardy sun- loving plants,
  • A south facing garden experiences mainly afternoon sun, so shade tolerant planting is recommended,
  • A west facing garden is impacted by the hot afternoon sun,
  • An east facing garden sees the morning sun so will be in the shade most of the afternoon.

Your design may include a main focal point such as an ornamental tree or a decorative pot, a striking decking or water feature for some street appeal wow. With most estates including restrictions on the presence of front fencing a consideration could be designing your planting to create some privacy and division from the public footpath.


Focal design feature for impact street appeal.

With water conservation a key consideration in garden design it makes sense to look at including an automatic watering system to reduce the ongoing maintenance requirements and contribute to the re-sale value of your home. Most greenfield estates include recycled water connection for garden use which is perfect for watering system use. For the die-hard non-green thumbs, there is a vast variety of synthetic turf available at a range of different budgets with some so life like you will have your neighbours dying to know your gardening secrets!

Your new home guide

All Carlisle clients receive a comprehensive handover guide to the care and maintenance of their new home to keep that brand new feeling. To protect the integrity of your home slab and footings and to maintain your new home warranty, some key information in garden design is,

  1. Garden beds, grass areas and rock areas should be kept away from the house,
  2. Weed matting should not be used near the house,
  3. Keep all trees well away from the house, noting that root systems may spread up to twice the height of the tree,
  4. Do not cover weepholes, ensuring that neighbouring garage walls, soil build ups or garden landscaping do not hinder the weepholes functionality causing moisture to enter the wall cavity, or stop it from exiting,
  5. Keep landscaping around the house consistent, avoiding large areas of concrete to one side of the house and garden beds on the other,
  6. Sprinkler systems should not be installed near the house and require regular monitoring for overwatering and leaks,
  7. Take into account the affect that your neighbours landscaping may be having on your property and vice versa,
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