Landscaping is about more than just pretty plants, bushes, trees, and flowers. There are also some other aspects you can add to make your front yard pleasant and beautiful.
Because you’re a homeowner, you want to take a certain pride in how other people view the front of your house, i.e. your house’s curb appeal. It’s your castle, your haven and your property. You want it to look as good as it can when people pass by. Having a lush and beautiful lawn is just a start. You should also include landscaping the front of your house with shrubs and other elements to improve the beauty of your home’s exterior.
Beautiful landscaping will also raise your property values. According to Turf Magazine, adding landscaping to the front of your house can increase the value of your home and property by as much as 12 percent. You don’t have to create a mini Longwood Gardens to add curb appeal. And, your landscaping doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.
Here’s a simple plan for landscaping the front of your house.
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Map Your Existing Yard
The first aspect of landscaping you should address is any existing trees and plants that are in your yard. First, take a good look at your trees, taking time to notice any unsightly limbs or limbs that are looming over your home. These limbs need to be pruned, not only for the aesthetics of your home but also for safety. You can do this yourself with a long-arm tree trimmer or hire a tree service.
Next, get out a piece of paper and map out your yard so you have a clear idea of where existing plants and trees are located. Look for the best places to put new plants for an eye-catching display. Then, check with the utility companies (power, cable, etc.) to find out where any wires are buried. Make note of where wires are buried, as well as where you want new plants, bushes, and trees to go. Try to group together plants that need the same amount of light and water.
Get Ideas at Your Local Garden Center
Go to your local nursery or home improvement store with a pad and a pen to browse through their plants to see which ones appeal to you. Don’t just look at flowers; look at their selection of grasses, groundcovers, shrubs and small trees too. Write down the names and prices for the plants that you like. You should also note whether the plant or shrub prefers sun or shade, as well as any special maintenance requirements. Include a mix of shrubs, plants, and flowers. The varying heights, colors and textures will make your yard more interesting.
Although there are hundreds of types of flowers that you can plant in beds throughout your yard, choose low-maintenance perennials; you’ll be spared having to plant something new every spring.
Compare what you find at the nursery to your plan for the front of the house. Will the plants and shrubs you’ve chosen work well? If not, modify your design, and then it’s time to shop.
Stick to Your Budget
Before buying a single plant, set a budget for your new landscaping. If your budget is limited, you can buy just part of your list of plants. Then add to your design every year. (You can fill in empty spaces with annuals that only last one year.)
Buy your plants and trees and install them in your yard. For bushes and trees, you’ll need to dig a large hole that can fully accommodate the root ball. Once your tree or bush is in the ground, mulch around it and apply some fertilizer. Then water deeply for several days, depending on the temperature or season.
Pay close attention to these new plants while they are acclimating themselves to the ground and spreading their roots to take hold. Fertilize and water on a regular basis.
Popular Bushes and Shrubs in Lancaster
Azaleas are flowering bushes that come in many colors. When in full bloom, these bushes are striking in their beauty. They need to be planted in a partially shaded area. If you put your azalea bush in full sun, you’ll need to make sure it has plenty of water.
A Butterfly Bush will attract all sorts of butterflies to your yard. They come in blooms of purple, pink, white or red and can get as tall as 6 to 12 feet. These bushes grow best to full sun.
Roses are a beautiful, traditional flower to include in your landscaping. Color choices are vast and varied as are the types of bushes you can buy. Some can grow quite tall. Roses can require a lot of attention and care, but the results are amazingly satisfying. They need about six hours of full sun per day.
Common English Boxwood is used in gardens all over the world. They have densely packed green leaves and are rounded in shape. They should be planted in partial shade.
Yew shrubs can be large or small, depending on the variety. They are needle-bearing evergreens in a deep green color, with a lighter green underneath. Yews can grow in sun or shade.
Winterberry Holly is an eye-catching shrub that stays beautiful all through the winter. They have small, white flowers in the spring and produce bright red berries that feed birds all through the winter. It can be grown in full sun or partial shade.
Hydrangea bushes are lovely additions to any yard. They have bright green leaves and huge, round flowers in a variety of colors. They can grow in partial shade.
Spirea shrubs reach a height of 2-3′ and spreads out 2-3′. It requires full sun. The shrub’s foliage is dark green in summer, but its fall color is red. In May the plant bears small, white flowers in clusters.
Forsythia bushes are early bloomers that sport vibrant yellow flowers on long stems. They grow best in full sun.
Other Ways to Add Curb Appeal
Building a porch onto your home is a great way to not only increase outdoor space for relaxing on cool spring nights, but also to add an interesting focal point. Adding an interesting water feature to a front bed is another way to set your home apart from your neighbors. A little garden decor goes a long way; try not to crowd too many pieces into your front beds.