Curb Appeal Landscaping IDEAS
- Consider the house. Lots of people look at the size of the lawn or the shape and slope of the front yard, but many people forget a critical consideration in landscaping for curb appeal. "Rule No. 1, and the one that I see ignored a lot, is that - far and away - the most enormous thing in the garden is your house, " says Leslie Land, author of The New York Times 1, 000 Gardening Questions & Answers and blogger at leslieland.com. "You have this enormous design limitation, and you need to design for curb appeal based on the size and shape of your house and how it relates to the street."
- Work with masses and shapes to create a landscape for curb appeal. A corollary to recognizing the size of the house is massing and shape, Land says. "If your house is big and you want to plant lots of little pretty flowers, they don't read from the street, " she says. Instead, use plants and repetition - midsize shrubs to line a path, for example, or a row of shrubs - that are inspired by and complement the shape and size of the house. "People won't see individual flowers driving by, " Land says. They will see the impact of a plant grouping that reflects the shape and lines of the house and walkways.
- Use secondary hardscape elements to help design a landscape for curb appeal. A deep sidewalk, for example, offers an opportunity for a wider flowerbed as accent. A bench provides a place for a gathering of shrubs and perennials. Think about what's there (or what could be added) and how to spotlight it.
- Emphasize the rite of passage. Landscaping for curb appeal is ultimately about moving to the front door in a pleasing way. "You have to always be mindful of the experience of passage from the street to the door, " Land says. "Think about what kinds of transitions are available and whether there is a way to break up the trip without destroying the necessity of people seeing very clearly where to go." That may include a bend in a walkway (with the doorway still in sight) or urns on either side of a curve, Land suggests.