You know the shrubs I mean–those nondescript evergreens the builder left you with. 

Just pull them out.

Seriously.  The front of your house is prime garden real estate.  Honor it by planting wonderful things.  Think fruit, flowers, berries–plantings that  change with the seasons. 

At our house in Wake County NC, there’s  a changing pallet of shrubs, annuals, perennials, bulbs and vines where boring foundation plants used to be.

On the other side of the front door–more mixed plantings with great combos like this Loropetalum and yellow blooming Kerria (below).

Not only do these beds look good from the street–I love looking out at them.

I did work hard to improve the soil.  The builder’s evergreens were surviving  in nasty North Carolina clay.  Maybe that’s why those things are planted so much.  They will grow anywhere–

Finally–if you want to make the most of your garden space, I highly recommend  Out of my Shed, the blog written by Naomi in crowded London.  A professional Gardener who uses every bit of her small garden  and then some, she’s organized  neighbors to grow fruits and vegetables in the tiny spaces between their homes and the street.  Inspiring and beautiful.  Her work is always making me rethink my spaces.