Statistics say you have 3 seconds to make a first impression. That being said, curb appeal matters! Landscape is a simple way to add beauty without breaking the bank and tearing into walls.
Spring is the perfect time to refresh your landscape and the good news is there are no absolute right or wrong ways to get this accomplished. Our goal is to make your landscape simple to maintain, pleasing to you, and beautiful from the street. The first step in getting this done is a design and a plan. More often than not, your local nursery will offer help, provided you buy the plants from them.
1. Natural Elements:
Use rocks and natural elements from the environment. That being said, take cues from the surrounding area to make plant selections. Native plants and natural processes will require less time and money. Natural landscapes also provide food and shelter for small animals and birds.
2. Walkway Plantings:
Don’t plant hedges, vines, flowers, etc. too close to your walkway. Your walkway should have a point of leading you to the doorway. Overhanging plants and bushes infringe on the walkway and may be unsafe. Pathways used for this purpose should be at least 36” wide and also provide guests with safety illuminating darker areas using exterior lighting.
3. Creative Pathway:
Think outside the box and use interesting elements to create your walkway. Rather than a big slab of concrete, try stone, brick, staggered rock for visual appeal. Your walkway should complement the architecture of your home and clearly lead to the door you want guests to enter. At brick&batten we say walkways are intentional and when creating virtual exterior designs, we keep this in mind!
4. Porch Steps:
Steps are essential in some cases to connect your front stoop to the walkway. Be sure your steps are the same width as the path they connect. If your path is 36” wide, the steps should also be 36” wide. At brick&batten we usually recommend a path be a minimum of 36” for comfort and direction.
5. Stick With the Style:
Every home style has a landscape style as well. If your home is modern or contemporary, go for a simplistic design with straight lines and simple flowers and gravel. If your home is a craftsman, go for a more colorful and winding path for the eye.
Layering your garden is a popular approach to keep your front yard space looking creative and not overdone. To keep it simple, tall plants go in the back, medium in the middle, and shorter plants in the front. Your layering may include small trees or bushes as well.
Keep in mind the different seasons your plants bloom. You don’t want one whole patch of your front yard to be blooming wildly, while everywhere else looks dead. Try to be sure plants for every season are represented in your flower bed to create a cohesive design that will provide color throughout the season.
Make a plan for color. Colors are categorized as either cool or warm and certain color plants look best with certain color exterior house paint. Cool colors include: purple, blue, green, etc. Cool colors tend to recede, so when layering use these colors at the back of your border, making your bed seem larger. Warm colors, such as: red, orange, yellow, etc. draw you in or attract. These shades are best used at the front of a border to create an illusion of depth.
9. Go Green:
When in doubt, go green! If you are stumped on color and just not sure what to plant, find beautiful shades of green and stick to a monochromatic color palette. Green is soothing and works well in nature. Find your color in a planter instead. A planter is nice because if you don’t like the choice you’ve made it’s easy to dump and start over!
Careful planning, thought, and care can convert your humble front yard to a showstopper with wonderful curb appeal! This doesn’t mean tearing out walls or breaking the bank. It means discussing your plan with a local nursery, spending some well needed hours in the sunshine, and getting a little dirty!