The Q&A Archives: curb appeal

Question: What plants and flowers are go to use when trying to create curb appeal to your house.

Answer: To a large extent this depends on your personal taste, but you can try to enhance the look of the house by using a landscape style that suits it. For instance, a more symmetrical and formal planting scheme for a house with a formal facade, and an informal one for a house with a rambling or "country" look.

Evergreens such as hollies, yews or boxwood provide a constant backdrop to your more colorful flowers. In a formal garden the evergreens would be planted in straight lines and kept clipped. In an informal landscape they would be grouped into clusters or massed informally into curving lines and might be left to grow to their natural shapes.

Color will depend on what season you are trying to maximize the appeal. For example, plant spring bulbs and pansies for spring flowers; daylilies, roses and purple coneflowers for summer; asters, mums, and sedums for fall flowering.

You can also use flowering trees and shrubs for color. As with the flowers, different plants will bloom at different seasons.

Whatever you plant, keep in mind that planting beds should be in proportion to the size of the house and lot, the edges should be neatly outlined, the soil surface should be mulched with a layer of several inches of organic mulch. Always keep the lawn mowed and edges trimmed. Keep a large container or two of pretty flowers on the front porch and refresh these as needed. These steps go a long way to making the property look well cared for.

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