Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Front Entry - Curb Appeal on a Budget

The first impression you receive of a home is the exterior, so the exterior of your home should be as inviting as you can make it. Landscaping need not cost thousands of dollars, it may simply mean planting something that will give your home the 'wow' factor such as this amazing wisteria or some carefully placed pots.

If you don't have the luxury of a front garden or only a small area or paving, there are lots of ideas to improve its curb appeal. Placing plants in appropriate size pots such as topiary or annuals or using climbers against the house or espalier, can totally change the look of your home, not only making it more welcoming but adding value.

When it comes to choosing your pot's there are many different designs and it can be a bit confusing. Terracotta pots require sealing or you will find them drying out very quickly in summer. Think about the architecture of your house and the size of the front entrance when choosing the right size pot. As for colour, I prefer a contrast so if you have a light coloured house then choose a dark pot and vice versa, however it is a personal choice but having a contrast will make more impact.

Of course there are many simple changes apart from landscaping that can improve curb appeal, such as adding or replacing exterior wall lights or hanging shutters if appropriate to the style of your home. Make sure the changes you're considering suit the look of your home and remember, you don't have to make major renovations to improve your homes curb appeal as the following examples illustrate...

Wellesley Cottage Garden
Above: Using symmetry, raised, garden beds add a some formality to the front of this cute, shingle cottage. You could either fill them with colourful annuals or use them to plant topiary to add instant height and if you don't have much backyard space for veggies or herbs, whose to say you can't plant a few at the front of your house. Image from Nilsen Landscape Design
Wellesley Cottage Garden
Above: Also by Nilsen Design, espaliering fruit trees along a fence is a great space saver. Apples, lemons and pear trees are popular to espalier
Georgian Cottage
Above: Using pots either side of a front door with topiary or flowers can make it look all the more inviting and is the cheapest way to make an impact. These are hydrangeas but white begonias can look fabulous and flower through our Auckland winter

More ideas...

Above: Image via Pinterest - A welcoming mat flanked by two Hampton style planter boxes and faux topiary
Image via Pinterest - Symmetry rules, Molly Wood Garden Design
Above: Image via  - Layer your pots to give them a fabulous look. Here, Bay trees stand tall while the bases are layered with trailing ivy and what appears to be hydrangeas
Image via Pinterest - Framing a doorway with a climber such as a rose or star jasmine has a big impact. Remember, if you are planting a climber, if it is deciduous such as a wisteria or rose, you will end up with bare stems in winter
Above: Image via - Framing a gate with a pergola can take an entrance up a step and framing a house with roses or wisteria (image 1), can make it stand out in a fabulous way

Below, a great example of 'before and after'. It is amazing how changing windows, re-roofing with shingles and re-cladding the chimney has totally transformed this previously tired looking cottage. I realise there is an extension and it has involved structural changes but I couldn't resist sharing the makeover as an example of how dramatically different a house can look, and of course new paintwork is like waving a magic wand.

Cape Cod Whole House Renovation
Cape Cod Whole House Renovation
Above: A transformation of this cottage by Siegel Architects

I hope you have found a few ideas to inspire you. Spring's arrive in NZ and I'm already filling up the base of my topiary pots with trailing white Lobelia, I love Lobelia as it self seeds and the following year you will find it popping up in unexpected places. I usually remove these little plants and pot them up but sometimes you will find them already in the perfect spot. 

Happy gardening

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