Front-yard fix-ups are all the rage for curb appeal and for collecting top dollar for new and old homes on the market.
Here are a few things that make a home look unkempt and three easy ways to add instant curb appeal.
If you see your landscape here, better get busy on the cleanup. Not only will real estate values go up, but the simple act of adding potted flowers and keeping the lawn mowed has been touted as a way to deter crime in neighborhoods.
The best part about front-yard fix-ups is that they are contagious. Be the change you seek in your neighborhood and put some mulching magic, weeding wisdom and pruning power into your front-yard mini-makeover this week.
A few things that make a home look unkempt:
PILES OF BEAUTY BARK, TOPSOIL OR GRAVEL THAT HAVE BECOME MOUNTAINS OF WEEDS
I am guilty of ordering too much mulch, letting it sit too long in a pile and then harvesting a crop of weeds. Even the most highly-composted mulch will sprout weeds over time as wind blown weeds seeds blow in and put down roots. The trick is to get your neighbors to split the cost of a delivery of mulch so you can all be wheelbarrowing and spreading mulch at the same time – and get the mountain of mulch to disappear within one week.
RUSTY, NONFUNCTIONAL AUTOS, BOATS OR HEAVY EQUIPMENT
Okay, an old wooden boat filled with flowers or a rusty tractor displayed as part of a country garden do have some charm. But we’re not talking garden accents here. Parking dysfunctional vehicles on the front lawn for months at a time is not okay – and in many communities it is against the law.
APPLIANCES, BROKEN LAWNMOWERS
Did you know a simple phone call to a metal recycling company can take care of those mowers and metal scraps? Sometimes you can even get paid to get rid of unwanted metal parts. Many communities will now help you recycle those old television sets that often end up stacked in the garage – so you can fit the lawnmower and even your car into the garage instead.
Yes, I do know these plebes are sometimes used as planters. But this type of planter is better off in the back yard than the front.
3 things to add instant curb appeal to your home
MOW, THEN EDGE THE FRONT LAWN.
Providing a barrier between the lawn and the beds is like framing a picture. It just gives the whole place a more-finished look.
ADD CONTAINERS FILLED WITH FLOWERS.
Two pots on either side of the front door filled with red geraniums or a couple of hanging baskets on the front porch is all it takes to create a warm welcome. If you’re “maintenance challenged” and can never remember to feed and water blooming plants then plant drought-resistant yucca in a sunny yard or use shade-tolerant hostas on a shaded front porch. Both the yucca and the hosta are perennial which means they will return year after year and thrive in the same pot for years.
REMOVE THE OVERGROWN MONSTERS
Your plants are not children – you don’t have to house them once they grow too big and are no longer cute. There are no plant police to stop you from cutting back the rhodie that blocks all the light from the living room or the giant junipers that block the entrance to your front door. For security reasons, a well-pruned landscape, with good night lighting makes the entire neighborhood a better place to live.