Landscape Rehabilitation 101: Creating the Curb Appeal of Your Dreams
07.12.16
Myles Gleason
The heat of summer is just settling in Georgia.

It’s time to grab your gardening gloves, shovels, and dowels to spruce up the yard. Summer is the optimum time to breathe new life into your home’s landscape, so we’ve asked the experts at the UGA Extension to give us their best tips for warm weather yard rehabilitation.

Step 1: Change your point-of-view

Real estate experts say that 10 to 15 percent of a home’s perceived value comes from a simple, yet appealing landscape. So, put yourself in your neighbors’ shoes, stand across the street from your house and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your landscape. Next, jot down the problems you see. This will give you a plan of action for your landscape upgrade.

Step 2: Tackle the not-so-dirty work first

Okay so you’ve got your plan of action, but what to do first? We recommend tackling the clean-up first. By cleaning up your yard, you’ll be able to clearly see the potential for future design. These tasks may include the following:

  • Kill mold and mildew on the house, sidewalks, roof, or driveway
  • Get extraneous garden implements and tools out of the way
  • Clean windows (inside and out) and gutters
  • Pressure wash dingy siding and decks
  • Edge sidewalks and remove vegetation growing through cracks of concrete and brick
  • Mow and weed the lawn
  • Rake and dispose of leaves
  • Trim tree branches that are encroaching on your house

Step 3: Do I stay or do I go?

Before you begin designing the eclectic zen garden of your dreams, you need to DTS or Define The Stay. If you can see yourself living in this home for the rest of your life, then go ahead and get a jump on creating that zen garden. However, if you are planning on relocating a few years down the road, you’ll want to tailor your landscape design to the tastes of your potential buyers.

Step 4: Start Your Design

You’ve asked the right questions, and you’ve gotten a little dirty, finally, you are ready to begin revamping your yard. While planning out your design keep these tips in mind:

  • Preserve as many mature, natural trees as you can. It takes decades to grow a strong, beautiful tree.
  • Planting large, tall shrubs at the corners of your home can help frame the house. Also try to avoid planting shorter shrubs in long, straight lines. Instead, try planting them in curves with odd numbers to increase your home’s curb appeal.
  • Color is great for your lawn, but let’s leave the rainbows in the sky. Pick one or two colors to highlight the strongest aspects of your landscape.
  • Don’t forget that your lawn won’t be blossoming year-round. So choose smart. Try to pick plants that provide curb appeal all year long, such as plants with interesting fall foliage, or textured bark patterns.
  • Use different shapes throughout your yard to help with contrast. You want a simple design, not a boring one.
  • Symmetry is everything, or is it? Whichever you decide, symmetrical or asymmetrical, be sure to be consistent with color on both sides of your house to keep it from looking chaotic.
  • Curvy beds for smaller trees, shrubs and flowers can also serve as a key to a beautiful landscape design. However, keep in mind a bed that is too curvy can look sloppy and poorly lain, as well as a nightmare to maintain.

When it comes to curb appeal, less is more. Keep your designs clean and simple to create an atmosphere that will have friends and family begging to join you on your front porch this summer. For more information on landscape planting, contact your local Bryan County Extension Office at 912-653-2231 or visit www.caes.uga/extension/bryan.

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