The following is an excerpt from an upcoming book due to be released next year by Helen Yoest, Gardening With Confidence™.
Each day, your front garden welcomes friends and family, as well as those passing by. With a few considerations, your curb appeal can pleasantly welcome visitors all season long. A desirable notion since, as the old adage goes, you don’t have a second chance to make a good first impression.
With your personality starting at the edge of your property, create a style that is uniquely yours.
As you walk up your drive, consider what others see. Is it an expression of who you are? Is it pleasing to the eye year round? Does everything just seem to fit? With a fresh eye, evaluate what you have and see where this may lead you.
Choose A Theme
The style of your home will guide you in choosing a theme. Staying within this theme helps to pull everything together. Your home’s style gives you the place to start. Add elements that speak to who you are. Just remember, for your look to stay cohesive and fit together, stay within your theme.
Sweet, flirty pedestal urns will look out of place in a garden of a contemporary-style home. A ranch-style home is the most flexible in allowing you to tweak your style.
Your Best Investment
Your best investment of time and money is to focus on the entryway. A visitor should not be confused; make the entrance clear and obvious. Ideally, the path is wide enough for 2 adults to walk side-by-side (4-5 feet) and made with a material that compliments your home’s style.
Add Color at the Entrance
Adding color at the entrance gives the most impact and welcomes visitors. It also makes it easiest for the homeowner to maintain. Color can be added to containers, garden beds, and with garden accents.
Container gardens at the home’s entrance work well with any home style. Experiment with the placement and arrangement of containers. A staggered, asymmetrical placement with small groupings getting bigger as you the approach the house leads the eye forward. A pair of pots formally frames the front door. Add hanging baskets from the roof eaves and window boxes for impact.
Remember, the front garden is always on show. Keeps beds weeded, pruned, and top-dressed with fresh mulch, with an edge that is clean and crisp. Garden beds and plantings should be in scale with the home. A Southern Magnolia is well suited as a specimen tree for a two-story home, but would be overpowering next to a single story ranch.
A well-placed garden bench at the front entrance welcomes your visitors. Garden art, boulders, sculpture, or a fountain can be added to create the perfect welcome.
Consider replacing existing hardware and light fixtures to keep the theme consistent. If your home has rustic, cottage charm, bright shinny brass accents may seem out of place. Oiled bronze will nicely complement this style. Also adding accent lighting to trees or on the house and walkways will give your home a welcoming appeal.
With just a few considerations, you can begin today creating curb appeal that tells something of your personality even before you open the door and say, “Welcome.”
Helen Yoest is a gardening coach and designer through her company Gardening With Confidence ™. You can catch up with Helen via her blog at www.gardensgardens.wordpress.com.