You never get a second chance to make a first impression. This well-
known saying is certainly true when it applies to your home. Those
few seconds, when a visitor first sees your house, are crucial in
creating a positive, neutral or negative impression. This becomes a
vitally important consideration when you are selling your home,
particularly in a soft real estate market.
This is the third of a three-part series of columns about improving
your home's curb-appeal with some basic landscaping upgrades. That
all-important first impression can make the difference between buyers
wanting to come inside or simply drive on to the next listing. Even
if you are not intending to sell right now, one or two affordable
tweaks can put a fresh, attractive face on the home you love.
Last time in this column, I described my number one choice for spicing
up a landscape: ornamental grasses. If you missed that or the
previous column, drop me an e-mail at email@example.com and I'll
send you a link where you can read them online.
Today, let's talk about some trees and shrubs that will be like
planting money in you front yard when it comes to appealing to
Japanese Red Maple (Acer palmatum atropurpureum) It's hard to go
wrong here for several reasons, the most important being their extreme
They work equally well as a specimen multi-stemmed shrub or as a
relatively small tree with a mature height somewhere between ten and
twenty feet. If you have a bit more room, try two or three in plant
Another advantage: they are hardy and quite easy to grow. They do
just fine in full sun and in various degrees of shade so that if other
trees are planted close by, they suffer no adverse effects from the
crowding. Landscapers often use Japanese Red Maples in urban settings
where large buildings can limit the amount of sun to which they are
exposed. They leaf out early in spring & drop their leaves late in
Holly bushes. Essentially, holly is any tree or shrub of the genus
Ilex having red berries and shiny evergreen leaves with prickly
edges. Within that wide definition, you can find everything from tiny
six-inch dwarves to towering seventy-foot giants.
Hollies come in male and female "genders" and you will need at least
one of each if you want the female to bear those traditional holly
berries. It's not easy to tell males from females, but most good
nurseries will tag them to indicate which is which. There are some
holly varieties that are self fertile so you'd need only one plant in
order to have berries.
For fast landscape enhancement, plan on holly bushes that are two to
three feet tall that you can use as specimens or foundation plants.
Knockout Roses. I strongly recommend that you consider these beauties
as they induce "Oooh's" and "Ahh's" from visitors and homebuyers.
There are three varieties you could plant to ramp up the curb appeal
of your home. Look for Red, Pink or Rainbow Knockout roses.
The blooms of the Rainbow open orange from coral-pink buds and then
quickly turn soft coral-pink shading to gold at the base, surrounding
a yellow center. All three varieties form compact 3 foot by 3 foot
shapes and are quite fast growing.
Nikishi Willow. This fast-grower is spectacular in all seasons. The
show begins in spring with yellow catkins in followed by new growth
foliage appearing green and creamy white with pink overtones that
turns salmon pink by going into fall with leaves turning yellow and
winter branches turning a brilliant red.
The Nikishi would be an excellent choice to enhance an entryway or an
elegant way to line a walk.
If you'd like to receive a list of seven useful Web sites about
enhancing curb appeal, or if you'd like some specific plant
suggestions drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org with some
details and I'll reply personally.
The Plant Man is here to help. Send your questions about trees, shrubs
and landscaping to email@example.com and for resources and
additional information, or to subscribe to Steve's free e-mailed
newsletter, visit www.landsteward.org