Landscaping your front yard to enhance curb appeal is our last step in our series. Now that you have painted your front door, upgraded the exterior lighting, cleaned deeply, finished a mailbox makeover, we can turn our attention to the plants in your yard. Landscaping will be like the icing on the cake as a final step in improving curb appeal. We need to focus on four elements: structure, pathways, upkeep, and color.
Before you run to a home improvement store and buy random plants, spend time noticing the front facade of your home. You want your landscaping to enhance and highlight the style and structure of your home, not distract or hide it. Therefore, you want to make sure that you do not block windows or any other important features of your home. A modern home will need clean lines and minimal plants whereas a country cottage home will look its best with large, full flowerbeds.
If you are wanting to add any flowerbeds or even an “island” of plants to your front yard, then use a garden hose to outline the area. The hose is flexible to make curves, but heavy enough to lay flat in the grass. It is a great way to plan and layout a design without damaging your lawn.
Your existing walkway should already be clean and tidy, but do you notice worn places in your grass due to high foot traffic. If so, consider putting in a permanent pathway. It can be made of stone, concrete, composite deck boards, brick, etc. Again, try to compliment your home with the same style of the existing pathway. If you are completely blazing a new trail, then compliment the style of your home. Permanent pathways keep shoes and feet more clean, but also are more visually pleasing than worn foot paths. They can also serve as a way to draw your eye to the focal point of curb appeal, the front door of your home.
Even if you have a green thumb and love to spend hours tending your plants, the next owners might not; therefore, make sure you use low maintenance plants in your landscaping. The easiest way to ensure a plant is low maintenance is to use native plants. They already thrive in your zone. For the Lake Conroe area, use Region G on the Agrilife Extension map to see what plants do well. Using an USDA Hardiness Zone Map, Montgomery has both zones 8 and 9. Regardless of where you live, think seasonally when you consider upkeep. How do your plants handle freezing temperatures? Will your plants lose all their leaves? Do they flower? Will they survive a rainy spring or a dry summer?
Think evergreen. You want your home to have great curb appeal throughout the year. Installing evergreen plants as the base and structure of your landscaping will ensure that your beds will look great regardless of the month. Roses in general always do well by offering greenery year long and then a long blooming season of fragrant, colorful flowers. They require an annual prune, which is not much upkeep. Also use mulch to cut down on maintenance. It will keep moisture in the soil as well as keep weeding manageable.
Roses aren’t the only flowers great for landscaping. Most flowers come in a variety of colors. Only use flowers with colors that compliment your home. Use a color wheel to help you see which colors work well with others. In my opinion, complementary colors work best in landscaping. Johannes Itten, a Swiss artist, said, “Complementary colors make a strange pair. They are opposite, yet they require each other. They incite each other to maximum vividness when together.” Who doesn’t want a vivid, visually impactful yard?
For example, you live in a yellow house or you painted the front door of a gray house a daring lemon yellow. Either way the color you want to compliment is yellow. Violet flowers are complimentary. Think Dwarf Mexican Petunias, Zinnias, and Purple Verbena. To get more ideas for this scenario, check out 15 Best Purple Flowers in Texas. Regardless of the color you want to highlight from your home, use the color wheel to draw inspiration. It works for any color, not just yellow.
Paying attention to these four elements in landscaping design will improve your curb appeal. Remember the purpose of good landscaping in regards to curb appeal is to draw someone’s eye to the front door in a pleasing way. With all five steps to improving curb appeal complete, you have increased not only how visually pleasing your home is to others, but also its value. We can call that a win-win.