curb appeal

Landscaping Tips for the New Home

Landscaping for the new home offers unique challenges – windswept lawns, terrible clay soil and no privacy.  Often on a budget and anxious to fill empty space, homeowners regrettably rush into poorly executed short-term choices.

Best advice? Take your time. Living in the home a season or two will give you a chance to better understand your site and to prioritize what is important for your family. Meanwhile, here are some design tips to help you on your road to better landscaping.



outdoor spacesCurb appeal

Marshalling evergreens along the foundation makes a house look stiff and unfriendly. Irregular but balanced groupings are much more appealing and often less costly.

Use urns or pots to flank the front door. Fill them with fall pumpkins and gourds, or even a few pretty branches and faux flowers. It’s a small investment with potential for personality.

We see a lot of covered up concrete that would have looked better if left alone. If it’s an entrance that you use all the time, it should be done properly.

And . . . foundation plantings don’t always need to be at the foundation. An island bed, a fence detail with a gate, or an obscured seating area can give your home a distinct look.

Outdoor SpacesOutdoor Spaces

Instead of hugging the foundation, bring the patio out into the yard. This allows you to create outdoor rooms, arrange seating or cooking areas more sociably, and use planting materials more creatively.

Don’t despair if your house came with a boring concrete pad for a patio and you can’t afford to replace it. Curving planting beds go a long way to soften those corners and add dimension. Add a pretty patio set, a flagstone stepper path or a brick walkway and you will forget that it’s a rectangle.

Control your paving choices and stay with products that are simple and elegant. Save more complicated paver quilting, starbursts, inlays or color contrasts for "plain jane"  houses that need an infusion of style.

A few large and well-placed trees and shrubs can go a long way to give your home stability and a sense of permanence.

Remember that you are going to be adding decorative elements and colorful plants, and in the end everything needs to work together.