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Landscaping Ideas To Add Curb Appeal To Your Home

Landscaping Ideas To Add Curb Appeal To Your Home

Landscaping investments big or small can add a dramatic effect to the curb appeal of your home.  Some ideas to play around with in the design stage of adding landscape alterations would be to maximize the landscaping budget by weighing in on problem areas to enhance or renew old or worn product or to include the following common ways in which homeowners add value.

Hardscaping – Hardscaping whether it be for privacy like patios or for show like front entrance pathways, stairs or retaining walls can be a maintenance free way to add value to your home and upgrade your home’s curb appeal.  Raised and contained gardens with retaining wall rock segmented along pathways can be an elegant way to enter a home or shape a yard for maximum benefits.

A grand way to emphasize or spotlight your home is to guide the arrival of the homeowner or guests in a way that pleases the eye for a pleasant entryway into the home.  Use pathways with bends and curves to emphasize the experience of entering the home.           

Lighting effects such as uplighting, downlighting, spotlighting, and shadowing are just a few ways to use landscape lights to make a dramatic effect in your landscape.  Landscape lights will add interest to a home’s curb appeal through each season with very little care and maintenance.  One common lighting mistake to avoid is placing a lantern or light at the top of a post when at night dangerous shadows cover nearby stairways.

When it comes to choosing shrubs, perennials, and flower gardens tune in to your color wheel.  Choosing opposing colors in your gardens so that the vegetation will really manage to make a great contrast in color against your home.  Balance outdoor vegetation with shrubs and trees that proliferate all year round such as evergreens of all different shapes and sizes to show interest in the winter months. 

Last but definitely not least, dress up your front door!  Use seasonal wreaths, welcome mats and plantings to celebrate the seasons and make a welcome entrance for yourself and for curb appeal considerations.

5 Landscape Ideas to Create Privacy In Your Yard

5 Landscape Ideas to Create Privacy In Your Yard

Sitting in your backyard would be so pleasant if you didn't have to stare at your neighbors' garbage cans. With today's smaller lot sizes, many of us live closer to each other than we'd prefer. And while fences sometimes do the job when it comes to blocking views, they're not always practical. "Fences can feel confining, and they often grab your attention and draw your eye to what you're trying to hide instead of camouflaging it.  Instead, consider these landscape ideas to create privacy in your yard.

1. Invest In Bigger Plants

Instead of buying those little shrubs and waiting years from them to grow, consider buying bigger and more mature plants.  Buying larger plants also means buying few plants and the larger plants have an immediate impact for your privacy.

2. Layering

Avoid planting a single type of plant in a line. You could potentially lose the entire screen in one season if pests or disease attack. Besides, plants don't grow in orderly rows in nature. For a more natural effect, install groupings of plants to create a "thicket." Stagger a few deciduous shrubs, a couple of evergreens, and a cluster of perennial grasses along the property line. It's more attractive because it adds depth and dimension with different heights, colors and texture.

3. Go Verticle

If your space is limited, consider the use of raised beds or containers to provide height. Or use a climbing plant such as a rose, clematis, or creeping fig. A vertical trellis with vines or clinging plants can create privacy in small areas. There are lots of options on the market, but you also can DIY something from wood or metal. Plants that naturally grow in a columnar shape, such as yews, junipers or bamboo also work well in tight spaces.

4. Redirect Attention

Instead of trying to hide an unsightly view, draw the eye away from the area by creating a focal point elsewhere. A large ceramic pot overflowing with colorful annuals, a bubbling fountain surrounded by day lilies, or bright blue Adirondack chairs nestled under a tree serve as garden accents that capture your interest and keep your eyes away from the ugly stuff.

5. Know When to Get Help

If you just don't know where to start, consider hiring a designer to draw up a master plan for your yard. The designer can install the project in phases or explain how you can do it on your own over time. A landscape architect, landscape designer or horticulturalist can help plan all your immediate and future landscape needs. A master plan is like the front of a jigsaw puzzle box, which shows you how all the individual pieces will come together to complete the big picture.

Where and Why to Mulch Your Lawn and Landscaping

Where and Why to Mulch Your Lawn and Landscaping

Mulch not only makes your lawn more attractive it also serves a variety of purposes to the health of your lawn and landscaping.  In this article we will take a look at where, when and why you should consider using mulch in your lawn and landscaping.

Where to Mulch

Mulch is a great addition to any garden bed, but it can also be placed in hard to maintain areas in your yard.  For example, areas that are difficult to mow, maintain or irrigate are perfect places to install mulch.  Additionally, shady areas that make it hard for new plants to receive sunlight to grow can benefit from mulch.

Why Mulch

Mulch serves a variety of purposes for proper lawn and landscaping maintenance.  Organic mulch materials improve your soils fertility as it decomposes, giving your plants extra nutrients to grow healthy.  Mulch also keeps the soils temperature cooler in the summer and maintains moisture minimizing the need to water established plants.

A new layer of mulch also reduces weed germination and growth as well as reducing plant disease.  Over time, mulch can also improve the soils aeration, structure and drainage.  As you can see there are a number of benefits to adding mulch to your lawn and landscaping.

Mulching Guidelines

Too much of anything can be bad and that saying applies to mulch in your lawn.  A general rule of thumb is to maintain a 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch at all times and not to exceed a 4 inch layer.   Too much mulch can reduce the amount of oxygen exchange to the roots of your plants and cause your plants to stress causing root rot.

When mulching around a tree in your lawn, you do not want to mulch all the way up to the trunk of the tree.  Instead, keep your mulch a few inches back from the trunk of the tree to prevent moisture from causing root rot and to keep rodents from inhabiting at the trunk of your tree and chewing into the trunk.  You will also want to extend the mulch to the drip line of your tree to allow the entire root system to absorb moisture stored in the mulch.

At Peter Doran Lawn and Landscaping, we offer a variety of mulch products that can be installed around your trees and in your garden and landscaping beds.  To get a free estimate give us a call at (763) 315-0052 or click the free estimate button below.