Increase home values with easy landscape upgrades
The right landscaping and lawn care can increase property value by 15 percent, allowing owners to recoup 100 to 200 percent of their investment.
A Texas Tech study found that perfectly pruned, expansive tree canopies add 2-9% to the value of existing houses and a single tree can add as much as 2%. Newly built houses on tree-planted lots have a 7% higher price than those on bare lots. Lawn area and type of grass affect property value, with increased lawn area having a positive impact on price. Specific landscape characteristics such as hedges or walls and manicured curb areas each add 4% to property value. When overall landscaping (including trees, plants, grass and architectural garden features) improves from average quality to excellent quality, house price increases by 10-12%. An estimated 30% of the price increase is due to added tree cover.
Lambert’s recommends the following steps to freshen properties prior to a sale.
Maximize aesthetics Plant annuals in high visibility areas and pick focal points such as entries, pathways, courtyards, or outdoor entertaining areas. Make sure that the proper plants for the identified areas be planted according to light and moisture requirements so that they last. Call a certified arborist to ensure that the trees are properly pruned to optimize the asset value the trees bring to the property.
Replace wear and tear Concentrate on replacing tired plantings with plants that are durable and hardy. Though a larger plant may provide a more mature look and match the existing plantings, it can acclimate more slowly after being installed. Smaller plants may actually acclimate more quickly often surpassing a larger plant installed at the same time.
Mulch Freshen planting beds with layers of organic, biodegradable mulch. This makes any landscape smell good, while also holding moisture, reducing evaporation of water, and insulating the bare soil. It also prevents runoff and erosion and regulates the temperature of the soil, keeping it cool in summer and warm in winter. Mulch also prevents weeds.
Treat and nourish Apply organic plant health care products such as compost, compost tea, and other fertilization and soil conditioning treatments to plants and trees for a nutrition boost that will help the landscape weather stress and keep it healthy during the listing.
Correct irrigation issues. Water-related damage to driveways and buildings is expensive. Check the condition of the plumbing system to improve the water use efficiency of the property.
Plant containers to keep properties looking fresh
Clusters of interesting pots and planted containers are a great way to maximize small spaces on porches, patios, or just about anywhere. They offer high drama, low maintenance, and nonstop color all year long. They work well as focal points, to create privacy, as decorative garden accents, or to grow herbs, fruits and vegetables.
Choosing a container Anything that holds soil and has drainage holes in the bottom can be converted to a container. Consider visual appeal, context for location, and size. The container must provide adequate space for roots and soil and allow the plants to thrive. Lambert’s designers select pots that set a mood or design statement. We look for amusing, classy, creative, sophisticated, stylish, or understated depending on the way we think the container will add to the space.
Soil The soil mix needs to be well-aerated, well-drained, and able to retain moisture for plant growth. Lambert’s recommends custom organic soil blends composed of peat, bark, or a variety of organic ingredients and amendments to ensure that the planting media is free of weeds, seeds, and disease organisms.
Environmental factors Place containers according to temperature and light conditions for peak performance. It’s important to know the conditions in which the plants you choose perform the best. Do the plants like long sunny days or burn in bright light? Be sure to keep the containers out of the wind and consider the exterior color of the container as dark-colored pots exposed to hot summer sun can transfer the heat to the plant roots causing them to dry out and become damaged. If you choose dark-colored containers, match them with Mediterranean type plants that can withstand heat in their root zones.
Mix it up Think of container gardens as living foliage arrangements. Consider mixing vegetables, herbs, flowers, and ornamental grasses, ensuring that the mix of plants share similar needs for moisture and light.
Cluster containers to create vignettes. Putting several containers together, incorporating differing heights, textures and styles, can have great impact. Grouping containers allows for flexibility, fullness, and can soften the effect of a stark hardscape or architectural feature. Consider incorporating the container into the garden itself or working them into borders and planting beds as sculptural elements.
Containers add personality–use logs, wheelbarrows, watering cans, and interesting antique pots.
Use edibles to make a unique garden statement
An edible landscape brings farm-to-table freshness as close to home as you can get. And by growing your own culinary garden, you can optimize the health benefits of the plants by ensuring that they’re grown and cared for organically and are pesticide and chemical-free.
Lambert’s recommends the best ways to introduce edible plants into your landscape:
Creativity Plant a cook’s garden near the kitchen door for quick snips of rosemary, basil, thyme, sage, cilantro, parsley, and oregano. Include nasturtiums and calendula for tasty and colorful garnishes. Herbs are expensive to buy so adding them to your garden makes good economic sense, and they blend well with flowering perennials.
Create an ornamental border with bunching onions or garlic chives — a way to naturally deter insects.
Add a touch of drama among annual color beds with the large, glossy leaves of Swiss chard and its rainbow of colored ribs.
Use fences or arbors as supports for grapevines, sugar snaps, or runner beans.
Beauty For a focal point, place a beautifully glazed container planted with a citrus tree, such as Meyer lemon or calamondin orange. Planting citrus plants in pots makes it easier to move the plant to a warmer, protected spot over winter. Tuck strawberry plants among other container plants, as they love to dangle off the side of the pot. The many varieties of creeping thyme make attractive groundcover.
Add berries for minimal care — place in a sunny spot with well-drained soil, and cover with a blanket of compost in spring.
Edible flowers such as borage, anise hyssop, scented Geranium, and African Blue basil add a special touch to salads.
Utility Plant a fig tree–not only is it handsome with its dark green, deeply lobed leaves, but the fruit can be eaten fresh, dried, or preserved and provides irresistible treats for the birds.
Sneaking a few perennial edibles into your landscape increases the amount of food you can harvest.
Long rows of edibles are useful but too old-school for today’s home gardens. Mix edible herbs, vegetables, fruits, and berries into existing perennials and shrubs to create a garden that’s as tasty as it is beautiful.