Drew Cater is the owner of Cater Design Landscape which specializes in residential and commercial land design, installation, and maintenance with expertise in drainage solutions, erosion control and small stonework projects. Drew received his degree in Landscape Design and Horticulture from Auburn University and is a member of the Alabama Nursery and Landscape Association.
Creating Curb Appeal
by Drew Cater
After a cold and rainy winter, the sunshine and spring weather stirs a passion to head outside and enjoy all the outdoor activities you enjoy; eating meals on your deck, playing ball with your kids (human or animal), taking evening walks, and common for homeowners, sprucing up your outdoor living spaces. While the bright color of spring grass and budding blooms can create excitement about putting your green thumb to use, creating the outdoor living space you pinned on Pinterest can quickly become an overwhelming project. But it doesn’t have to be, there are easy ways to give your yard a quick facelift without spending every spring weekend doing lawn labor.
One of the easiest projects that can have the biggest visual impact is to is to brighten up the area around your mailbox. Add a few perennial blooms-flowers you can change out with the season-around the post or base area of the mailbox. This time of year daylilies or dianthus are a great pick. Also I suggest adding something that will remain and grow into the area such as a Knock Out Rose bush that will have wonderful bright blooms from spring to September or a blooming vine like Clematis that can grow up and around the mailbox post. Fill in the bed with shredded pine bark mulch and line the area bed area with a few large rocks to create a finished manicured look.
Create an inviting entry to your home by creating small beds or container gardens around your front porch or stairs leading to your front door. These don’t have to be large, elaborate beds but planting a few flowers, placing pinestraw, or fresh mulch can instantly perk up the exterior of your home. You can also make it personal by creating something that fits your personality. If you like fresh cut flowers, plant hydrangeas or dianthus for beautiful blooms that are easy to clip and place in any vase. If you like to cook, herb gardens with rosemary, basil and mint are not only beautiful and aromatic, but an easy way to get fresh ingredients for your dishes anytime.
PLANT FOR THE FUTURE
These quick and instant yard updates are great, but spring is also a great time to plant strategically. If you have been wanting to add shrubs, trees, or sod anywhere in your yard it is important to try to complete before the hot and sometimes dry summer months to ensure acclimation to the soil and optimal root growth. These elements are great way to create natural privacy or property division, but they take time to grow. Most plants, shrubs and creeping vines like Confederate Jasmine can take 3-5 years to fully mature and bloom year after year.
DON’T FORGET: JUST BECAUSE YOU LIKE IT, IT MAY NOT WORK.
Your yard has its own micro-climate. It may have spots of full sun, no sun, slopping, or draining issues. It is important to understand your yard’s characteristics as well as existing and potential issues before starting any landscape project. Just because design elements or specific plants work in your neighbor’s yard or a picture on Pinterest doesn’t mean it will necessarily work for yours. As I said before, landscape design and installation for your entire yard can be be a large project, sometimes with a larger than assumed price tag. The key is to consider the money you put into your home’s landscape as an investment in the overall value of your property. The exterior landscape design and features of a property can increase the value up to 20%.
If you have questions about your landscaping, contact: