Your yard is a testament to you – to what you value and, in a real sense, to the kind of homeowner you aspire to be. If you want to boost the curb appeal of your yard, there are certain things you absolutely must do. Not least of all, planting beds and ornamental displays should lead to the front door; there should never be any ambiguity about where visitors are to go. Ambiguity and ambivalence are the enemies of curb appeal; make sure you get rid of them.
At the same time, curb appeal is enhanced by bold landscaping and design initiatives that make a bold aesthetic statement. Something such as a tree enveloped by a walkway creates an arresting image that adds depth and design gravitas to the space in front of your house. At the same time, balance and harmony add their own magic to any landscaping ensemble. Perhaps have stone pillars framing the main entrance. Or have planters or urns arrayed in symmetrical fashion at the door. Having an arresting image on the front lawn can absolutely work to add magic to the curb appeal of the yard. But, if you want to provide a polished and engaging veneer, then you may want to buttress that with symmetrical flourishes around the front entrance. Such features show an air of sophistication which will register with anyone who happens to be passing by.
When seeking to boost the curb appeal of your yard, bear in mind that functional features must also be front and center. A flare at the bottom of the front walk gives people the room they need to get in and out of their vehicles. Make sure that the main pathway to the front door is wide enough for two people to walk it, side-by-side. And have the landing wide enough to accommodate such things as pedestal urn or built-in planners – as well as a small group of people. A landing of at least 5 feet in width is the bare minimum, and 7-8 feet is even more preferable. When people view a yard from the street, it is often the case that they will be drawn to the front steps or walkway as much as to the colorful plants, pedestals or ornamental flourishes. Given this, it is imperative that defective or compromised entrance steps be removed and that narrow or cracked walkways be upgraded at the first opportunity. From the curbside, it’s often not the beautiful things that attract first notice as it is the ugly little imperfections that should have been identified sooner.
Finally, the curbside is an edge, and yards that have sharp edges or incongruous edges are yards that will look worse than they are to the interested bystander. It is widely argued that one way to effectively soften edges is with herbaceous borders. Plant drifts of flowers so that one group can neatly segue into the next one. The best way, or the most obvious way, to achieve this is via the use of contrasting or complementary textures and colours. If you want an emphatic punctuation, then intersperse with intermittent flowering or vertical shrubs. And that’s not all: get rid of any decaying wood – edging battens or raised bed frames – that might be despoiling the view. Decks, porches and raised beds, as a matter of course, should be comprised of composite materials that will be resistant to rot. If you wish, consider articulating your flower or plant beds with edging made from cement or metal – or outline the bed with small boulders layered over mulch. It’s the delicate little touches that can turn a yard into something beautiful –so beautiful that even an ardent critic will have to be impressed watching it from curbside.