Landscaping your front yard can increase your property's value by up to 20 percent.
I divide home buyers/owners into three broad categories. This is simply done in order to help the buyer make appropriate landscaping decisions for their property.
Category one is the flipper. The flipper has no intention of living in the house but is running a business. Curb appeal is what counts here and the installation of a small annual garden, with perhaps a few fragrant perennials; near the front door can do the job. Annuals allow you to pick plant colours that best suit the house.
Category two is the starter home. You are buying your first home and plan to live there until you family gets too big for the house or you simply want to move on up. You can still work with annuals to provide seasonal colour but want to give more thought to perennials and specimen plants. You can think about roses and lilacs, for example.
Category three is the permanent home. You have no plans to move, period. Now you can get serious, annuals, perennials and specimen plants will all play their role and it all depends now on you. Are you a gardener and by that I mean to you enjoy spending time in the garden?
The first question you need to answer before beginning a front yard landscaping project is how long to you plan to live in this home?
Is it a starter home? Are you looking for a quick resale or is there where you and your family will live permanently?
Next how much time do you have to maintain that garden? A poorly designed and cared for yard will not enhance your property and will certainly lose you points on curb appeal.
The answers to these questions can determine your approach.
If you are settling in for the long run then ask yourself this: How do we use the front yard? BBQs and other family and friends get-togethers usually take place out back. The backyard is where the children play.
The front yard is frequently for display. It is the face you show the neighbours and others who drive and walk by.
If you are planning to sell, the front yard is what prospective buyers see first. First impressions are lasting impressions. What the buyers see as they drive up will influence how they view the interior.
Create a good first impression.
Now before you create your landscaping plan you need to decide the following:
How much sun and shade does the yard receive. The answer will determine your plant choices. The right plant, right place philosophy is a good guide to successful landscaping.
How much time to you have for maintenance? Do you enjoy cutting the lawn? If not consider reducing the amount of space that you devote to lawn. Replace grass with a rock garden, shrub or tree.
Do you want to have a different effect each spring and summer? Annuals allow you to change the look each year and provide colour throughout the seasons.
Are you interested in a naturalized look? Then native plants are what you need. What grows where you live? Visit a local nursery and talk with the experts.
Is fragrance an element you wish to include? Many herbs add beauty and fragrance to your garden. A rose bush or two may be just what you need. Buy quality.
How much time do you have to tend to the garden? If your free time is at a premium then low maintenance perennials may be the answer.
Landscaping is an investment and one that can pay sound returns no matter which category you belong in, so take the time and craft a plan that works for you now and in the future.