Here’s an informative article on curbside appeal by Kelly Roberson for Better Homes & Gardens.
Your yard is an extension of how you present yourself. Improve the value of your home and give your neighbors something pretty to look at with these tips to landscape for curb appeal.
Landscaping for curb appeal should be at the top of your to-do list. Maximizing your yard’s attributes and minimizing its problems to create a beautiful street-side view doesn’t have to be difficult, daunting, or expensive. No matter your style or plant preferences, here are eight ideas to transform your front yard into a beautiful, attractive space.
1. Consider the House
Lots of people look at the size of the lawn or the shape and slope of the front yard, but many people forget a critical consideration in curb appeal landscaping: your actual house. You need to take the size and shape of your house into consideration when gardening. Try not to think of it as a design limitation, but a design challenge.
2. Think About Shape and Weight
If you have a large house with a flat front, pretty little flowers aren’t the plants for curb appeal for you. Instead, use plants and repetition—midsize shrubs to line a path, for example, or a row of shrubs—that are inspired by and complement the shape and size of the house. You will see the impact of a plant grouping that reflects the shape and lines of the house and walkways.
3. Use Hardscaping
Use secondary hardscape elements to help improve curb appeal. A deep sidewalk, for example, offers an opportunity for a wider flower bed as an accent. A bench provides a place for a gathering of shrubs and perennials. Think about what’s there (or what could be added) and how to spotlight it.
4. Emphasize the Rite of Passage
Landscaping for curb appeal is ultimately about moving to the front door in a pleasing way. Try to make the transition natural and intuitive, so guests clearly know where to go. That may include a bend in a walkway (with the doorway still in sight) or urns on either side of a curve.
5. Turn to the Color Wheel
The color of your house should be a consideration in choosing plants for curb appeal. For example, a blue house feels calm and collected accented by a collection of purple, pink, yellow, and white flowers. Red trim will pop with flowers in orange, bright yellow, and red.
6. Include Big Plantings Where Appropriate
Most of the time, people see your house—and judge its curb appeal—quickly, either on a walk or drive by. So large shapes and masses that are attractive from a distance should be a part of a house exterior facelift. That doesn’t mean blocking windows or doors or the facade of the house with plants that will get too large.
7. Keep a Low-Maintenance Garden
Even if you love gardening and all its associated tasks, if you one day plan to sell your house, an elaborate garden can be considered negative by a potential buyer. Potential homeowners without a green thumb will be discouraged by large beds or plants that create natural litter like petals or seed pods. Keep it clean: petunias that won’t litter petals everywhere, for example, and shrubs that don’t require a lot of tender loving care.
8. Think Through the Seasons
A landscape that goes dormant in the winter will look foreboding and uninviting. The best curb appeal ideas includes structural elements such as trees and shrubs, as well as materials that look good in spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
By keeping these things in mind, you can effectively dress up your home’s exterior in a way that fits your style while also appealing to others. Use your home as a base for a full garden that just adds to the beauty of the landscape.