There are several ways you can add curb appeal to your front yard. Everyone talks about the importance of curb appeal when you're trying to sell your home. While that's important, it's equally important to simply enjoy coming home to a beautiful front yard after a long day at work.
From simple plantings to elaborate construction projects, just about anything can be done to add curb appeal. Depending on your vision and budget, you can scale a concept up or down to meet your needs. Here are a few curb appeal ideas to get your imagination going.
Complement your home's style
A core concept in design is creating harmony between elements. Applying this concept to your landscape means thinking about the style of your home and choosing plants and landscape features to match. For instance, is your home modern in design or more traditional? Is there a regional influence, such as Spanish design or English Tudor? Look up traditional plantings and features for homes built in the same style or era as yours. This approach will create a harmonious feel between structure and landscape.
Consider the seasons
When flowers are bloom, every yard has curb appeal. But, what about the rest of the year when plants are not flowering? Consider upgrading the plantings in your yard with varieties that bloom during different seasons. Or, if not blooming, that have vibrant hues during otherwise gloomy times of the year. With this approach, you'll have visual interest year-round and a yard your neighbors will envy.
Consider your terrain
Not all homes are built on flat parcels. In fact, if your home is in the Willamette Valley, chances are your home is constructed on a grade. Knowing this, you can consider how best to work with a sloped yard. For example, if when it rains you get a river or a lake in your yard, you could install French drains or a dry creek bed. These are both beautiful and functional. Or, if you like working in your yard, you can consider installing retaining walls to terrace your yard, creating multiple flat sections for plantings or other uses.
If you would like more ideas or a professional consultation to see the possibilities for your landscape, please contact us. We service homes in the Eugene/Springfield area, as well as other communities throughout the Willamette Valley. At Graham Landscape and Design, our team of professionals can help you design, install, and even maintain your landscape so you can enjoy it for years to come.
“Here Comes the Sun…”
You know that famous Beatles tune? Here in the Pacific Northwest, you may not feel it’s always appropriate with those gray days of winter! Anyway, in this post, we’re giving you landscape design suggestions to make the most of summer, with a few flowers and plants that thrive in the Willamette Valley summer sunshine.
Let’s start with a plant that will last from spring all the way through to late fall when other flowers fade. The Hosta (Plantain Lily) is native to Asia and thrives in the mild Oregon weather. There are many varieties of the Hosta, so you can find one to your color preference and size. They can grow to up to 3 feet and some have a slight fragrance.
Depending on the variety, this plant grows best in partial sun, so put it close to a nearby tree, although some enjoy full sun too. If you’re just starting out, this plant is a sturdy one to try. You’ll have a beautiful plant without much work at all!
For a dramatic touch to your garden, add a “Masterpiece” lupine (Lupinus) with its bold red/purple color and tall spires about 2 feet tall. Butterflies and hummingbirds will flock to these tall flowers. They are a stunning addition for late spring into early summer.
Following the early summer lupine, the late summer/early fall Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) adds its bright red hue as the seasons move towards a cooler temperature. It can grow 2-4 feet tall and is deer- and rabbit-resistant, too!
Evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) is a lovely yellow flower that opens early evening into the morning, and from summer into fall. They attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees and are best used as a border or in a wildflower setting.
The leaves and flowers are also edible, so you can try something a little different in your summer salad.
Another lovely and cheerful yellow flower, commonly known as the “Black-Eyed Susan” (Rudbeckia hirta) will thrive in the Pacific Northwest climate. They are resilient and can survive with less rain if it happens to be a drier summer than usual. They stand 1-3 feet tall and are versatile. Plant them as border flower, in a pot, or as an accent plant in a larger area.
There are a great many more plants and flowers that can accent your garden. For more ideas and help, contact us at Graham Landscape for all your landscape design needs in the Eugene, Springfield, Corvallis, Salem, and Roseburg areas of Oregon.
One of the best times of the year to introduce new plantings to your yard is the fall -- the soil is still warm, creating faster root growth and plants get a head start on next year’s growth. In addition, by next summer, your plants will have larger, more established root systems which will help them to be more drought tolerant and they’ll produce better flowers in their first year.
What to plant?
If your summer annuals are looking tired or overgrown, there are a number of late-season bloomers that can really spruce up your yard. Consider asters, daisy-style plants, yarrow, and salvias. Because the middle of autumn has more mild temperatures, these plants do quite nicely. Something you might not know... the majority of cold hardy perennials thrive with fall plantings because their root systems grow all winter and emerge in the spring, ready to grow and blossom!
But, if you have poorly drained soil, you may want to wait until spring to plant your perennials that require good drainage, such as lavender.
If you’re into bulbs, it is time to get them in the ground! Daffodils, hyacinths, tulips, alliums, crocus, and many other varieties planted now will make for a great show next spring. If you want some color while you wait, you can plant pansies in your flower beds around where the bulbs will sprout.
If you enjoy vegetable gardening, September is a great month to start a fresh round of cool-season and overwintering crops. Varieties you can plant now include lettuce, spinach, other greens, broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, and onions.
September is also a great month for renovating your summer lawn. Dethatching is typically done this time of year, removing the dead matter underneath the growing grass. Doing this allows us to assess how full your lawn really is and if it needs to be reseeded, overseeded, or replaced with sod.
Trees, Shrubs and Fruit
While these items can be planted other times of the year, the fall is best when the soil is softer and easier to dig, and the temperatures are also cooler. But, beware of caterpillar damage as that can be high in the autumn.
If you’re not sure what to do with your yard or if this all just sounds like too much work, please let us know. The Graham Landscape & Design team of design and installation specialists can create for you a yard to enjoy all season long.
At Graham Landscape and Design, we hear from homeowners in Lane, Linn, and Douglas Counties who would love to create the landscape of their dreams, but just do not know where to begin.
The question often arises, "I know I need some landscape design help, but should I hire a landscape architect or a landscape contractor?"
The truth of the matter is that transforming a landscape can be an overwhelming proposition, in terms of process, emotions, and budgets. It is a tough decision for some to make a significant investment in an architectural landscape plan, knowing they then have to turn around and invest in the landscaping contractor to put the plan into action on the ground.
If this sounds like you, we're here to guide you in the process, and we've got a few tips for you to help you save a little dough.
At some point in time, chances are you will need to bring machinery or work crews into your backyard, to grind a stump, perform a repair, etc. If you plan ahead for providing the necessary access, you can prevent uprooting your plantings or undoing your landscape design.
When you step out into your landscape, think about where you want your focus to be. If your yard is large, perhaps this could be a view or a sizable tree. If your yard is smaller, then maybe your focal point is a fountain or a special bench.
Upkeep becomes one of the biggest challenges with designing your landscape. Many people love the designs they see in magazines or online but often don't realize the level of maintenance required. Be honest with yourself about the level of commitment you have for maintaining your landscape yourself, and if you don't plan to do the work yourself, consider budgeting for a regular maintenance service.
Movement & Curves
Every landscape should incorporate a sense of movement or flow -- how will you and your guests move through the space? But, while this is an important element, be sure not to overdue it. Too many curves or movement can cause a sense of unrest and detract from your focal points.
Remember Your House
While you are totally free to choose a landscape design of any persuasion, the best designs are those that incorporate the architectural style and size of the house. Your landscape should be an extension of your living space, and each one should complement the other.
"Right Plant, Right Spot"
Make this your gardening mantra and live by it. When plantings are misplaced, you risk compromising the proper sunlight and air circulation which could lead to poor or excessive growth, fungal and insect problems. Also, keep in mind the full-grown size of every plant, so you space your plantings to accommodate their future growth.
Last but not least, survey your landscape as though you've never seen it before. Look at those items you perhaps thought of as obstacles (overgrown shrubs, sheds, etc.) and consider their removal. Likewise, keep an open mind about the features of your house and the surrounding space as you might find elements that can be featured vs. masked.
The Graham Landscape and Design team is well versed in each of these areas and can work with you to make the most of your space and maximize the use of your budget so you can have a result sure to bring you years of enjoyment. Contact us today to get started!
How many times have you come home after a long day at work, only to think to yourself, “Ugh, I need to do something about my yard.” but only found yourself uninspired or simply too tired to do anything about it? If this is you, you’re not alone. Here are three great ways to add a little curb appeal to your landscape that won’t take a lot of time or break the bank.
Adding bark to your landscape is quick and easy. You can spread it along your walkway plantings, in your planter beds, around the base of trees, and anywhere else where bare dirt is showing. Not only does bark look great, but many varieties also provide excellent weed control and hold in moisture thereby reducing the need to water as much. Bottom line, it adds beauty and makes your yard easier to maintain.
If you’re not a “go-getter” gardener, chances are some of your plants are starting to look a little haggard and tired. Limbs have become wispy, and maybe some of your plants don’t bloom the way they used to. Perhaps even some of your plants have become overgrown and unwieldy. A simple fix is to replace those old plantings with new ones. If you ask your local nursery for some hearty local plants, you should be able to get recommendations right for your landscape. At Graham Landscape & Design, we look for plantings that will have the level of required maintenance that matches your available time and skill. We also search for plants that when matured, will still complement each other and look aesthetically pleasing.
Update A Hardscape
While this one might be a bit more involved, it can be easily accomplished over the course of a weekend, depending on the scope of your project. If you have a walkway, consider adding a complementary stone along the edge, or pavers in an accent color. You could even create beautiful planters with bricks or other stones. Maybe a flagstone path is right for your yard… or perhaps the addition of a few beautiful boulders strategically placed amongst your plantings.
These are just a few quick ideas to help you get started. If you would like more ideas or a professional consultation to see the possibilities for your landscape, please contact us. At Graham Landscape & Design, our team of professionals can help you design, install, and even maintain your landscape so you can enjoy it for years to come.
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