Posted 18 November 2012 - 08:36 PM
How do you want to use the front yard? Is it just a show piece or will the children play there? Do you have a lot of foot or vehicle traffic going past?
How much time do you have to maintain it?
What's your 'style'?
I looked at copious amounts of gardening and house-y magazines as well as Google images or Houzz. I know the style I like (structured but informal), and the plants I like. I had an idea in my head of what i wanted and we used a landscape architect to help us refine it and give us a plan on how to achieve it.
For the house in your link, based on my preferences, I would have a low hedge around the house that borders a shallow garden bed. It will soften the brick edges.
I personally wouldn't use standards between the windows because it isn't an area that I would want to highlight. I would use then flanking the entry. I'd probably use shrubs like a camellia between the windows to add height to the beds and hide some of the brickwork. I like roses so might use roses in front of the windows (I'd use a bush type so when it's dormant, it doesn't stick out but has masses of flowers able to be seen from inside when in season).
The rest of the bed could be filled with perennials for low maintenance gardening or annuals if you don't mind a bit of work for a spew of colour.
I'm a private person, so would hedge around our boundary line. It's ubiquitous, but a murraya is tough and quick growing. It has lush green foliage so looks good all year around. It can be a good backdrop for other flowering standards or something else of interest. I like to have 'layers' so would underplant the hedge with something soft looking like agapanthus. It is also tough and easy to propogate.
Inside, if the kids will be playing in the front yard, I'd keep it as lawn. Otherwise, I'm right into edible gardens and would turn the lawn into a parterre style kitchen garden. Rather than edging with a low hedge, I'd use edible plants like curly parsley. I'd have some edible trees in pots (citrus or bay) to add a touch of structure and height. In between, I'd probably use paving to keep maintenance down and gives you a path that's usable in wet weather.
That's just my preference though.