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Use Your Garden to Create Curb Appeal

Sep 7, 2008
A yard is one of the first things people see when driving by your home. It makes a silent statement about the home and its owners, and a driveway or garden full of clutter, over ridden with weeds or in general disrepair, makes a very loud, negative statement. On the other hand, a house with great curb appeal has the potential to sell faster and generate more interest than the ho-hum house across the street.

Some of the common improvements homeowners make are tidying the yard, painting the fence, and repairing broken shutters or gates. While this all helps to improve a home's curb appeal, your real secret weapon is the garden. A colorful, well kept garden and a few strategically placed containers can do wonders to attract potential buyers to your home.

Here are some sure fire tips to make people take notice of your house via your garden:

1. Layer it up!
One of the best kept landscaping secrets is the use of layering. Use small, low height alyssum type plants along the border, and gradually add taller and taller plants in behind. Complete the design with the taller tulips, Echinacea, holly hocks, or a climbing plant such as clematis or pink bougainvillea.

The layers also give the illusion of a larger yard. By using different textures and sizes of plants behind a border, you are less likely to notice a shallow yard. A cool color theme such as lavender, light pink and blue are good choices for the border.

2. Give your garden some shape.
Straight lines are boring; create interest by shaping fun, wavy borders. Use a garden hose or spray paint to make your shape, and add landscape edging to keep out unwanted vegetation and give your border a defined, manicured look.

3. A sidewalk is more than concrete.
If you're dressing up a sidewalk in front of a fence, you don't need much space to feature a rainbow of color and interesting plants. Use your freshly painted fence as a backdrop for purple delphinium, daisies, fox glove, or asters.

4. Create a natural pot-pourri.
When you're selling a home, use fragrance to appeal to those prospective buyers. Try using scented plants such as lavender, magnolia or shrub roses to get people's attention.

5. Make your garden shine all year round.
Choose plants that take advantage of all the seasons. Once your spring bulbs and summer bloomers begin to fade, let ornamental grasses and other fall and winter species take over.

6. Containers aren't just for leftovers.
One of the best ways to get a splash of color where you want it is through the use of containers. Try using interesting urns, buckets, vases or long window box planters and vary your plantings with the seasons. When assembling your container, consider a colorful or eye-catching focal point, add splashes of color with blooms and colored foliage, and be generous with the number of plants you use. Wherever possible, implement a drip irrigation system to keep those flowers looking show stoppingly beautiful, and to save you extra work.

7. Mulch, mulch, and more mulch.
Add at least 3-4 inches of mulch between your plants. It keeps the moisture in so they need less water, slows down weed growth, and gives the garden a finished look.
About the Author
The Koitz Group offers elite real estate services in the greater Bethesda/Chevy Chase and Washington DC area (and they have a website that covers it all!). Visit the Koitz Group's Georgetown DC real estate guide or Chevy Chase Maryland real estate guide, packed full of information, search tools, and links to other fine neighborhoods in the DC Metro area.
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