Whether you just bought a home or are getting ready to sell, there are many ways you can improve the look and functionality of your front yard. Landscape architect Paul Ganshert shares the following tips for adding plantings, lighting, and other outdoor elements to enhance your home.
Keep it clean and simple
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so don't just install an expensive pond or retaining wall because you think you should -- it may end up being a maintenance headache for you and future homeowners. For starters, focus on the basics that appeal to a broader audience, like making sure your plants are manicured and the beds and lawn are free of weeds.
Adjust plant material
Begin by pruning existing plant material correctly and addressing any invasives or plants that need replacing. If you are looking for a quick fix for summer, wait for annual growers to put their hanging baskets on sale so you can pot them while the flowers are still lush. Fall is the second best time to plant, especially for bulbs if you want colorful daffodils and tulips to pop up in early spring.
Add low-voltage lighting
Not only does this highlight the unique features of your property after dark, but it also provides an added safety element. Path lights interspersed with other lighting can direct people to the appropriate entrance if there are multiple doors to your home. Rather than looking like a runway going up to your house, just have them lit enough so the positive and negative spaces alternate and bleed into each other.
Accentuate the entrance
Colorful plantings can draw your eye to the entrance, but the position of your sidewalk can obscure that view. If a sidewalk is parallel to the house and abruptly turns toward the front door, consider replacing it with one that starts from the curb or comes up curvilinear from the driveway so you're facing the whole front facade of the house.
Get a positive pitch
If an inspector or potential buyer sees a negative grade to your yard, they know there is potential for water and mold to come into the house. To make sure there is a positive pitch away from the foundation so your basement stays dry, start with the cheapest option by checking the eaves and downspouts. If there is still an issue, the Ganshert team may look into adding soil, cleaning or raising window wells, cutting swales to direct the water, or putting thick black plastic under mulch or stone to create a dry bed against the house.
To contact the friendly and knowledgeable crew at Ganshert Nursery & Landscapes, LLC, visit www.ganshert.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (608) 274-2443.