Add color and curb appeal to your home with a statement-making front landscape
Sprawling and beautifully manicured front yards line the streets of Metro Atlanta, no doubt about it. A well-landscaped yard creates curb appeal and helps your property retain maximum value. The walkway to your front door is one of the most important elements of the overall landscape because it greets guests to your home even before you do!
So whether you prefer something simple to fit into your traditional exterior or crave something extraordinary for a grand estate, there’s a perfect landscape scheme for every front walk. Below are a few tips and tricks, as well as shining examples of how to spruce up your outdoor spaces.
Green up the grass
If your house has a front yard, make sure it‘s neat and green. You don’t want bare spots, sprawling weeds, or an untrimmed appearance.
“It’s so simple to go to Home Depot, buy fertilizer, apply it every six weeks, and water it,” says Mitch Kalamian, a landscape designer. “It will green up.”
If the yard looks really scruffy, you may decide to invest in some sod. According to the National Gardening Association, the average cost of sod is 15 to 35 cents per sq. ft. If you hire a landscaper to sod your yard for you, labor will add 30% to 50% to the total cost of the project.
Add colorful planting beds
Flower beds add color and help enliven otherwise plain areas, such as along driveways and the edges of walkways. In general, annual flowers are a bit cheaper but must be replaced every year. Perennials cost a bit more but come back annually and usually get larger or spread with each growing season.
If you’re not sure what to plant, inquire at your local garden center. Often, they’ll have a display of bedding plants chosen for their adaptability to your area. Also, they‘ll be inexpensive because they’re in season, says Peter Mezitt, president of Weston Nurseries in Hopkinton, Mass. Try pansies in the summer, and asters and mums in the fall to add vibrant color. “That’s what we do around the entrance to our garden center,” Mezitt says.
Line it up
A row of simple shrubbery flanking the walkway to your front door feels clean and classic. Boxwoods are a great choice for imitating the look of one cohesive hedge.
For longer front walks, try incorporating shrubbery with different layers of height. Multiple heights add depth to a landscape and tall shrubs can mimic the effect of a beautiful gate.
Add landscape lighting
For homeowners who have made a sizeable investment in landscaping, it makes sense to think about adding another 10% to 15% to the bill for professional lighting. “You can’t see landscaping after dark,“ says Brandon Stephens, vice president of marketing for a landscape lighting firm in Lubbock, Texas, “and buyers are not always looking at houses on a Saturday afternoon.”
The cost of a system runs from $200 for a DIY installation to more than $4,000 for a professional job. If you‘re doing it on your own, the key is to light what you want people to see, such as mature trees and flowering shrubs.