Improving Curb Appeal

By Laura Miller | August 5, 2021
Image by irina88w
by Laura Miller
August 5, 2021

We all know that improving home curb appeal can add value, especially when a house is put on the market. And one of the best ways to improve curb appeal is with a landscape redesign project. As gardeners, giving us the go-ahead for a landscape makeover is akin to turning a kid loose in a candy store. I would love nothing more than to create my dream landscape in the front of my home.

Windows Need Replacing

So why haven’t I done a landscape makeover yet? I can sum this up in one word… windows. My home has a brick enclosed front porch with six enormous windows. I love the way these southern-facing windows create the perfect area to grow plants indoors, but let’s face it. These decade-old monstrosities need to go.

For starters, the aluminum frames have an aged patina which, trust me, doesn’t look as appealing as I’ve made it sound. Nor does the aged look of these windows add anything toward improving the home curb appeal. Plus, many of the window cranks are broken, so the windows neither open nor do they close tightly. 

Unfortunately, the cost of replacing these monstrosities with quality windows is astronomical. Thus, I’ve put my dream of a landscape makeover for the front of the house on hold for a while. After all, I’d hate to see all my hard work get trampled by workmen removing and reinstalling these huge windows. But if I could create my dream landscape, this is what I would do:

Terrace Dreams

First, I would improve curb appeal by creating several small terraces using retaining wall blocks. This would not only give the flowerbed vertical height, but curving the terrace walls would visually break-up the boring square shape afforded by the flat porch walls and the current rectangular flower beds. 

Into my terraced, dream landscape I would plant an array of small flowering shrubs and perennial flowers. I’m partial to azaleas. I love the variety of available flower colors, but I’d prefer the winter appeal of an evergreen variety. 

Shrubs and Flowers

Evergreen azaleas are native to Asia and lack both the hardiness and sun tolerance of North American varieties. An evergreen azalea in my climate would need planted where it would receive protection from both summer and winter extremes.

In other areas, I’d include Japanese Holly (Ilex crenata) in my landscape redesign. Not only do these holly plants keep their leaves during the winter, they also attract native songbirds with their berries. I’d prefer a dwarf variety, such as Hetzii, as I wouldn’t want the holly to grow up and cover my (hopefully) new windows.

In other sections of the terraced beds, I’d plant spring, summer and fall perennial flowers. While most of these bloom only for a short period, even a small smattering of color is beneficial for improving home curb appeal. I’d choose flower powerhouses like daffodils, tulips, irises, lilies and asters for three seasons of color.

Finally, I’d round out my landscape makeover with a few, well-placed annuals. Annuals tend to produce more prolific blooms throughout the growing season, but this benefit is counterbalanced with the cost of yearly replacement. 

For now, my vision to improve curb appeal with a landscape redesign is a mere dream. But as the saying goes, if you can dream it, you can do it!

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