You've already finished the interior of your home rehab project, but what about the curb appeal of the front yard? Chances are, the yard is neglected, unattractive, or just plain dead, and needs help. If the surrounding community is an established neighborhood, you might not want your new landscaping to appear sparse, spare or immature. Here are some ideas to make that yard look settled-in and more mature, but in a good way.
Pave The Way Right
If the driveway and walkway leading to the front door needs to be replaced, brand spanking-new asphalt or concrete may look nice, but it lacks the character of paving stones, bricks, cobbles, or flags. In a huge array of colors and shapes, these types of pavers provide a distinguished look, but with a big price tag.
To make these surfaces look great for less money, consider stamped concrete that simulates colored paving stones. Or, splurge on expensive surface pavers only for smaller areas of the landscaping such as beneath a private seating area in a secluded nook. Paved surfaces like the driveway and walkway consisting of something other than plain concrete and asphalt definitely look more time-worn and appealing.
Bigger Is Better
Don't be tempted to plant a host of tiny, baby-sized trees and shrubs. They can take forever to mature before they can show off their potential, fill in all the spaces, and provide shade. On the other hand, don't plant trashy fast-growing plants simply to get the shade you want in a hurry. Many species like silver maple and Lombardy poplar are especially weak and prone to disease and pests.
Instead, opt for a mix of different sizes. Start by investing in a few trees and shrubs that are larger in size than normal. Many nurseries offer more mature trees and shrubs that are ready to transplant. Planting them is the same as planting smaller container trees and bare root trees – only on a bigger scale. An auger attachment on a Bobcat from a firm like Summit Tool Rentals Division Of Wirtz Rentals will drill the larger holes required for bigger plantings. Consider some of these colorful or fragrant favorites that make a yard look beautifully established:
- Red Maples
- Crabapple or redbud
- Pines and spruces
When your larger species are planted, fill in the spaces with medium sized bushes and flowers, taking care to plant them thickly. This is to avoid the sparse look that comes with new landscaping.
Fence It In
Pull your landscaping together with a picket fence which can be used to support vines and flowers in order to show maturity. Wood is better than vinyl because it does not appear "new". You can go with natural wood, or paint it white.
Now is your opportunity to plant those fast-growing plants you've been itching to. Nothing makes a yard look like it's been growing for a while like sprays of flowers draped along a fence. You can still choose some slow-growing classics like wisteria and rose, but make sure you add some that can really shoot up and out in one season:
- Virginia creeper
- Morning glory
Attention To Details
Tackling the finishing touches to your front yard landscaping is a great opportunity to increase the air of agedness. For example, what does the mailbox look like? If it is a standard Big Box model or white vinyl, time to think about a change. Wrought iron and brick are much more classy and don't look quite so average. If you go with a wooden mailbox and stand, try out some distressed appearances or experiment with paint colors.
Other features of your front yard that can influence the age of your yard are house numbers, yard ornaments, and even exterior lighting styles.
Adding some of these landscaping changes will help make your new landscaping appear more mature in order to fit in with the established homes in the area.