Whether you’re thinking of selling your home in the near future, or want to improve the look of your home for your own satisfaction, there are plenty of easy ways to bump up your curb appeal.
First Up: Keep It Simple
Creating overly elaborate landscaping to your front garden that will require a team of professionals to maintain isn’t going to be a great investment for you, over the long term. And if you are thinking of selling, potential buyers might be put off by a design that looks hard to maintain.
Trends in gardening change and you don’t want to be the one person in the neighbourhood with topiaries or a waterfall in the front yard when everyone else is going low key. Opt instead for a classic design that will appeal generally, and you won’t go wrong.
Look At Your Home From The Curb
Take some time to look at your house as other people see it: from the curb. Is it inviting? Does it project a welcoming feel? You also want to look at what kind of shape it’s in:
- Are the bushes and plants in good condition?
- Are the garden beds neat and tidy?
- Are the garden or retaining walls falling or degrading?
- Are the pathways weed free and level?
Safety Is First Priority
Improvements to your front garden should be, first and foremost, safe.
For example, if your paving stones or interlocking bricks on the pathway leading to your front door weren’t expertly installed, you might find that they have moved in the freeze / thaw / freeze cycle of winter. That could cause a tripping hazard.
Garden beds could be leaking out earth or stones, such that they present a hazard too. Take a look at the space with an eye to a toddler walking up to your front door.
Tidy Is The Next Priority
A messy front yard, complete with dead annuals, leaves and debris, as well as weeds, will tell visitors—and future potential buyers—that this might just be the beginning of a messy house.
- Do a thorough clean up of your yard to make sure that all the weeds, debris and any garbage have been removed. If you’ve got a part of your lawn that isn’t bouncing back after winter, make sure you dethatch it, aerate and either seed it with new grass seed or add fresh sod (yes, we sell sod!)
- Deadhead your perennial plants and remove any annuals.
- Add some Toemar mulch to your garden beds and rake stones neatly, if that’s what you have, so that any that have been disturbed by snow or animals are back in place.
- Fix any out of place or degrading flag stones, retaining / garden walls or other placement of stones or rocks.
Upgrades That Make A Difference
If you want to go beyond tidying up to actually upgrading your curb appeal, consider these options:
Minimize your lawn with beds—if mowing isn’t your favourite activity or you struggle to maintain a healthy lawn, you can minimize your effort by adding garden beds. This is a relatively simple project that you can do yourself, although if you’re going to build out garden walls with interlocking bricks or rocks you will want to consult a landscaper.
The key is designing a bed that is eye catching but requires minimal upkeep. One option is to turn the entire bed into a rock garden, including tall grasses, which add texture, and a selection of perennial plants that suit your zone—in Mississauga, that’s 6b. If you prefer a standard garden bed, that’s great too: don’t forget the mulch!
Flagstone or natural stone creates an impressive walkway—this is an investment that will pay dividends when you eventually sell your home; it creates a beautiful finished look to the front of your home that you’ll love (you may even decide to stay put for a few years more!). Well installed flagstone won’t shift or become weedy, but it does add a lot of wow factor.
Add a lot of colour—if you’re going with garden beds and bushes, that’s great, but make sure that you add a lot of colour, with plants that bloom at different times throughout the spring, summer and fall. If you include some evergreens, your front yard will never look completely flat. Instead, your garden will be the talk of the neighbourhood!
Consider Non-Garden Related Upgrades Too
Aside from the garden itself, you can do a lot to improve appeal by doing simple projects:
- Re-paint the front door or change the hardware;
- Update the lighting on the porch, or include solar powered units along the walkway, lighting visitors’ path to your front door;
- Add planters on each side of the door, for a symmetrical design that is pleasing to the eye.
When someone looks at your home from the curb, it should say to them that you care about your space. Whether you’re in the market to sell or just want to enjoy your garden without burdening yourself with too much maintenance, choose accents that make even you do a double take as you drive up!