A well-painted front door attracts buyers, but think of what an outdoor living space could do.
You’ve heard of curb appeal, but what about landscape appeal? According to the American Society of Landscape Architects, homeowners can increase their home value by up to 20 percent by adding beautiful, functional, and sustainable landscaping to their property. So, where to start? Here are six ideas for adding garden equity to your property.
Build an outdoor living space: The best way to add square footage to a home (minus the hefty construction price-tag) is to create one or more outdoor living spaces. This can range from a paved, terraced patio with or without a pergola, outdoor sofas with a coffee table and or fire pit, an outdoor dining area, a pool, cedar tub or outdoor kitchen. Potential buyers will also see the value in a sweet little potting shed or playhouse for the kids. Whether you choose one or all of the above, surrounding these features with plants and trees will add privacy as well as natural color, warmth and texture.
Plant a low-water garden: If you experience expensive water bills or live in a drought-prone zone, consider low-water landscaping. Once established, these gardens are relatively low maintenance and, thanks to water saving, low budget, too. When working with Yardzen, be sure to indicate that you’re interested in low-water, climate-adapted plants during the design phase! And, don’t forget features like beautiful and easy-to-maintain decomposed granite pathways and dry rivers, a lovely architectural feature that can help direct rainfall to a designated areas. But skip the water features, which can have the opposite effect on water saving, and opt for a few water-collecting rain barrels instead.
Add curb appeal: The first thing someone sees when they pull up to your home: the front yard! For this reason, an improved front yard alone is estimated to increase your home value by up to 15%. What’s more, front yards tend to have a lower price tag than backyards—a new walkway, some climate-adapted plants, and an eye-catching design element, like a fence, front deck, or gathering space (you know we love social front yards), offers a lot of bang for your buck!
Add an edible garden: Raised beds brimming with organic herbs, fruits and vegetables are appealing to potential buyers who also see this feature as a money-saving investment. Use a naturally rot resistant wood such as cedar, but not pressure treated wood, which can leach chemicals into your plants. Also think about convenience, when possible. Raised beds close to a kitchen can make it easy to harvest lettuce for lunch or a few herbs for cooking. If you’re in the process of a sale, make sure the bed is planted with new or established plants. Let potential buyers see the harvest that’s in store.
Don’t forget the trees: There’s nothing quite like a tree-line street. Not only do trees add character to a property, they can provide shade, privacy and perhaps even the idyllic spot for a treehouse or tree swing. Plus, trees are critical to a healthy environment! Check with your local city or country maintenance department for a list of trees they recommend for your particular zone. Fruit trees can also be a beneficial addition, so long as they are planted in an area where dropping fruit won’t be a nuisance. Some fruit-bearing trees, like olive trees, even offer fruitless varieties, like the Olea europea above from Frantz Nursery.
Grow a cutting garden: From traditional roses to herbs and wildflowers, a cutting garden can be a practical and beautiful addition to a home’s exterior. Plant a mix of flowers that you love to bring indoors, being mindful of climate and water usage. Consider adding beneficial pollinator plants, too, which attract birds and insects. Cutting gardens need not be all flowers though. Consider mixing flowers among grasses and leafy green plants like Dusty Miller. You can even go a step further and add meandering stone pathways, antique benches and blooming arbors. And if you sell your home, don’t forget to include floral arrangements from your garden during the staging process!
Ready to get started? Kick-off your new landscaping plans with Yardzen today.