It’s nearly summer – and time for you to enjoy your outdoor space as much as your indoor one.
As the greenery begins to fill in, flowers bloom and butterflies return to alight in our gardens, we naturally gravitate to the pond, patio and flowerbeds around our homes. But just as we delight in the colors, sounds and textures we also notice the less-than-delightful aspects of our homes.
Maybe some areas are looking a little sparse. A few plants haven’t quite come back to life as you hoped. A tough winter was ruthless on your landscaping and things don’t look as spiffy as you’d like.
Or maybe this was the year you’d really planned to get things in top shape but you’re not sure where to start because standing outside of your home and looking at it from the opposite side of the street has you feeling a little daunted.
What can you do to turn your beloved space into (or back into!) that comforting, pleasant place that you enjoy experiencing and being part of?
Sure you could go for that exciting landscape makeover you’ve been dreaming of – and if you’re ready for that, we can help! – but even if you’re not, there are still other things you can do to improve your home’s curb appeal quickly.
1. Go Native
If you’ve done a bit of hobbyist landscaping or have recently moved into a new home, your landscape may be suffering from an identity crisis.
The trouble with DIY landscaping and even builder-grade landscaping is that it typically results from a trip to the local nursery to pick up a couple of flower trays, some privacy bushes, a few things that look nice or are on sale and then filling in space that needs filling.
But what it doesn’t consider is whether those are the right types of plants. Are they right for your weather conditions, soil and space? Are the young trees destined to grow up to overpower the sun-loving flowers and leave you with dead space? Does the plant life even work for your particular geography?
You may have heard the term native plants. That means, simply, using plant materials that are indigenous to your area, that will thrive and give you the authentic, natural look you want.
By choosing native plants rather than simply choosing based on a sale or a particularly interesting leaf color, you will have much more success in creating a beautiful landscape.
And by considering how plantings works with other plantings – how they will grow and mature together, how they will share space, how they will complement each other’s colors, textures and movements – you will have a space that you can enjoy and appreciate for years to come.
So if you’re looking to improve your home’s curb appeal, one of the quickest things you can do is to replace ailing or inappropriate plantings with more thoughtful selections.
2. Think Water
Few things will have immediate impact on a landscape the way water will. You don’t need to live on the shore, beside a stream or even have a big yard to take advantage of the myriad beauties of water.
If you do have the space, a pond brings out the kid in everyone – and yes, you can have a pond in your front yard the same as your back yard!
Smaller spaces can do just as well with a pondless fountain or waterfall. The sound and motion adds a touch of sense appeal that will go a long way to making your home feel special.
3. Draw Attention
Part of the curb appeal of your home is in the small details and unique charms that grab attention. These are also some of the easiest things to add to a landscape. Bubblers, fountains, stone figures and other décor will catch the eye and delight passersby.
Ceramic planters can be strategically placed on porches and along walkways and driveways to add depth and color. The best part about planters is that you can still enjoy your green thumb as you change plants with the seasons.
Another way to add texture and interest through décor is with natural stone. The inherent variety of colors, shapes and sizes provide plenty of inspiration for adding finishing touches to your yard.
And don’t underestimate the power of a few great pieces of furniture. An Adirondack chair on the front porch, an iron bench beneath a tree or a stone table with chairs placed along the side yard all create a sense of comfort, relaxation and home.
4. Add Lighting
One of the few “make or break” features for people looking at new homes is landscape lighting. Homes with lighting are immediately more appealing to owners, buyers and neighbors alike.
If you want to improve the curb appeal of your home nearly instantly then consider installing lighting – whether along the driveway, walkway, against the house or in gardens and trees.
Lighting has myriad advantages, including improving the security of your home, increasing its value, and if you choose LED lighting, saving you serious cash over traditional halogens.
Lighting adds evening ambiance that you can’t achieve any other way. It also keeps the landscape alive for you, visitors and passersby even during the darkest hours of night.
5. Use Camouflage
Sometimes even the best landscaping can’t compete with the less aesthetic practicalities of a house. Utility meters, satellite dishes, gutters and other structural elements can’t be removed, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be hidden.
Nobody wants an eyesore right in the middle of their lovely yard, so consider how you can use elements of your landscape to hide or disguise them. Tall planters (with the right plantings), bamboo screening and more can help to keep those unattractive bits out of sight.
It may take some creativity but a good master plan will take these things into account and some out-of-the-box thinking can help solve those pesky problems pretty simply.
If you want to improve the curb appeal of your home, whether you’re looking to spruce it up for your own enjoyment or because you’re looking for better resale value, these small additions can have a huge impact. If you want help improving your outdoor space, let us know. We’re here to help and answer all your questions so you can truly enjoy the outdoor space of your dreams.