Five steps to great curb appeal

Lisa Kiefert-Inzerillo, Staten Island, NY (US), 2013 Edible Front Yard contest winner

Lisa Kiefert-Inzerillo, Staten Island, NY (US), 2013 Edible Front Yard contest winner

September 3, 2013

We all want our yards to look their best.

If you keep these five items in mind, you'll have a yard that everyone else wants to look at!

1) Keep it clean!

  • Clean edging,
  • regular mowing (if you have lawn),
  • weeding,
  • pruning, and
  • keeping your porch, front door, garden decorations, and walkways clean and repaired

will make your front yard look its best.

Trash and broken items in the yard, toys and tools left out front, and weeds everywhere will give your yard a sad, unkept look.

This is one area that it's worth hiring someone to help with if you run out of time. It can be as easy as contacting a neighborhood teenager for an afternoon, or you can get a contractor to help.

Not sure who to hire? I use Angie's List on a regular basis to help choose contractors for my various projects. (See my review here.)

Or check the Edible Landscape Business Showcase for a company near you.

2) Keep it focused!

Pick a theme or repeating element for your garden and stick with it.

The use of perennial shrubs that contain the colors you want and reflect your garden's theme will help keep your front yard's look consistent throughout the year.

In garden themes, less is more -- yards with too many design elements, too many colors, and too many garden ornaments look cluttered.

3) Keep it classy!

Pick garden ornaments, furniture, and other decorations with classic styles and quality materials that will hold up well outdoors.

Cheap garden decorations, peeling paint, and faded garden furniture with torn pillows will make your yard look old and untended.

4) Keep it yours!

No one wants a yard that's identical to everyone else's. Add touches that make your front yard inviting to you -- if you love it, others will too.

5) Keep it alive!

No matter how lovely your garden decorations, how inviting your home, and how clean your walkways, if you have a yard full of dead plants, it won't be appealing.

Spend extra effort in selecting low-maintenance plants that will thrive in your area when you plant your garden, make sure you install adequate irrigation to support your plants, and consider using a timer (or getting a house-sitter) during holidays and vacations so your plants are taken care of.

Need help? Here are some resources on this site that you can look into.

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