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Landscape Articles

5 Fun and Creative Ways to Increase Your Home’s Curb Appeal

The front of your house is the first thing that people see. What does yours say about you? Creating a warm entryway makes your house feel welcoming and gives a great first impression.

A home with great curb appeal isn’t just for guests or neighbors to enjoy. When you return to your house after a long day at work, a well thought out and intentionally designed entry will make you glad to be home. Here are five ways you can create a beautiful front yard.

A story from my father-in-law

Six high rise buildings over looking the George Washington Bridge and Manhattan Sky Line are home to former NYC residents who are "escaping city life". Fort Lee, NJ sits on the top of a cliff with a mountain-like climate, high winds and cold winters. My father-in-law was the landscape architect assigned to this community and was faced with the problem of finding a hardy, all season interest plant to put in the garden beds at the main entrance. Being the creative and innovative landscape architect he is, my father-in-law suggested a plant known for its hardiness and extended season.  It has yellow, red, and orange foliage in the autumn, yellow-green to reddish stems for winter interest, urn-shaped white flowers in May, and a tasty blue fruit. What has all of that? A blueberry bush, the Vaccinium corymbosum.

His proposal was questioned numerous times-- a blueberry bush in the front of a multi-million dollar high rise complex, home to retired NYC residents who felt they were moving to suburbia by leaving the heart of Manhattan to only be 10 minutes outside the city with a panoramic view of the city skyline?!? Was he crazy? No, he was innovative and persistent. The highbush blueberry shrubs were eventually "okayed" and planted in front of two of the six buildings.

After a year or so, the lifelong city dwellers got to do something they never imagine, dreamed or even thought of possibly doing. Every morning, you would see these elderly urban dwellers go out their front door dressed in their designer robes, and pick fresh blueberries for their breakfast. As these women "foraged" for their food, they got to finally taste the fruits of gardening; something they never thought possible from their NYC life style.

A Great Massachusetts Resource- MassRealty

Everyone knows how important curb appeal is for selling and maintaining value to a home. We as landscape designers always encourage homeowners to think about increasing property value and their curb appeal through proper landscape design and installation. Aside from proper landscape design, there are many other aspects to homeownership that will help maintain and increase value. A great resource for understanding all the aspects of owning and selling a home in Massachusetts is MassRealty.

A front entrance bluestone walkway

Anne Marie DiMatteo | 7 November, 2013 | Front Entryways
Clients in Newton, Massachusetts wanted to redo the front entrance to their beautiful home by adding a classic bluestone walkway. Along both sides of the walkway we added boxwoods to mirror the elegant and symmetrical style of the house.

Front entrance landscape design- one year later..

Above is a picture of a natural field stone walkway and front garden bed our team installed last year. Plants, trees, and shrubs are growing well together and the field stone walkway adds an element of elegance and simplicity to the front yard design. To view this yard last year, read, Natural Field Stone Walkway.

Front yard landscape design in Framingham, MA

Anne Marie DiMatteo | 21 September, 2013 | Front Entryways
The Moodscapes team designed and installed this front yard landscape design last year. The beautiful shrubs, perennials, and trees are in full bloom with various colors and texture throughout the front garden beds. The new landscape design has enhanced the curb appeal of this beautiful home, while maintaining a very natural and elegant look.

Personalized Landscape with Organic Lawn in Belmont Massachusetts

Beautiful front yard design in Belmont, Massachusetts. Organic lawn has been thriving for over a year now with bright and manicured garden beds to surround it. This personalized landscape includes plants with various heights, textures, colors, and bloom time that enhance the bold green of the organic lawn.

Front Yard Landscape Design for Curb Appeal

Front yard landscape design done last summer by our team. We designed and installed the three garden beds in photo above. Our client wanted to enhance her curb appeal while maintaining a neat and orderly look to the garden beds. We achieved this look by adding color and textures that compliment and work well next to each other. Small trees to introduced to add some height to the front garden beds without taking over the shrubs and ground covers.

Front Yard Garden Design

This is a photo from a design and installation job we did last summer of their beautiful front yard garden design in full bloom! The colors and textures all work so nicely next to each other and compliment the style of the house and neighborhood as a whole. The stand out purple perennials are Salvia and will bloom from about June to September. The two corners have trees which add height to the garden and compliment each other with the deep red/purple colors. The Heuchera Coral Bell ground covers are slow-growing perennials that will continue to get larger and add texture as well as pick up the red color from the trees. Some of the shrubs have not yet bloomed and will do so later in the summer to add late summer and early fall color to the garden bed.

Colorful Garden Landscape Designs

The colorful garden combination above is from a front yard garden design in Arlington, Massachusetts. The homeowner wanted colorful blooms combined with various textures and flower shapes and sizes. The pink shrub is an Anthony Waterer Spirea which blooms throughout the summer and even attracts butterflies. The blue shrub placed slightly behind the Anthony Waterer Spirea is an Endless Summer Hydrangea. This specific hydrangea needs to be planted in well-identified soil because the bloom color changes with elements found in the soil. The Endless Summer Hydrangea has a blue bloom in more acidic soil and a pink bloom in alkaline soil. The perennial in the front is a Hillside Black Beauty with dark purple, almost black leaves and creamy white flowers in early fall. The three plants next to each other makes this yard noticeable to anyone passing by as the colors compliment each other while allowing for each plant to stand out in a unique way.

 

How does a garden "heal"?

The characteristics that make a garden therapeutic or "healing" to someone is personal for each individual. For me, driving up to my house and seeing this mixed perennial and shrub border in bloom with different shades of color, various textures, and fragrant shrubs is healing. After a busy or stressful day, what I enjoy most about arriving home is walking up my front steps and experiencing the tranquility that my front garden design offers and the feeling of peace that is restored inside of me- a true healing landscape.

Side Yard Natural Field Stone Walkway


Create an elegant and easy to follow path in your side side by choosing a natural field stone walkway. Flat field stone is the most natural looking stone and when installed correctly, can become a smooth surface to follow along. Often times field stone comes in varying heights and widths and therefore finding the correct stone is very important for creating a smooth, safe walkway. It is important for side yard walkways to be continuous from the front to back yard without imposing on the look of either space.

Front Walkway with Pavers in Massachusetts

 











Watertown residents wanted to enhance the front of their home with a walkway that would invites friends and family into their beautiful home. In collaboration with the homeowners, Moodscapes designed a paver walkway with a variety of pavers to increase curb appeal and aesthetics. We used Millstone Vineyard Blend quarry pavers, edged on the inside with a standard cobblestone. A half circle was designed right before the steps to mimic the architecture of the circular patterns on front porch and throughout the house. This enhanced and complimented the unique features of the home while increasing their front yard curb appeal.

Front Yard Landscape Design in Watertown Massachusetts

Homeowners in Watertown Massachusetts contacted us to redesign and install their front yard. They wanted to remove the overgrown shrubs and replace with something more appealing. Our design team shaped the existing garden beds to soften the front yard. We also added more beds to the front for warmth and enclosure. The plants installed were carefully chosen to include various textures, colors and bloom times. The new garden beds, trees and shrubs will increase curb appeal and property value for the owners. When redesiging your front yard, consult with your local garden center or a landscape design company in your area.

Front Entry Walkway in Watertown Massachusetts

At our client's home in Watertown, Massachusetts, a beautiful arbor design is complimented by an existing Hydrangea paniculata 'Pink Diamond' Tree. Well designed front entry walkways connect the front yard to the back yard in a fluid manner. This particular side yard design has field stone steps surrounded by plants as you walk through to the back yard.

Natural Field Stone Walkway

Field stone walkways create a natural, elegant, and easy to follow front yard entrance way. Flat field stone is the most natural looking stone and when installed correctly, can become a smooth surface to follow along. Often times field stone comes in varying heights and widths and therefore finding the correct stone is very important for creating a smooth walkway. Front entry walkways are very important for curb appeal and adding an edged garden bed with various plants and shrubs will enhance the natural look of field stone.

Making Your Home More Appealing for Resale

Making your Home More Appealing for Resale By the MassRealty team

Now is the time to buy a home. Unfortunately, there are plenty of homes on the market for house hunters to choose from. If you are looking to sell your home, it is important to actively attract buyers rather than sit and wait for them to come to you. This can be done in many ways, some of which include clean landscaping, an attractive exterior, and an appealing interior.

How to Extend Entertainment Space Outside

For many homeowners here in the Northeast, having enough space for entertaining guests can be a bit challenging. A good cost-effective alternative to full-scale home additions or remodeling is creatively extending your entertainment space outside.

Through professional landscape design and master planning, common yards can be transformed into both practical and highly aesthetic entertaining areas, ones that compliment the look and flow of your existing home.

Regardless of how big or small your yard space may be, an inspired, well-conceived design plan can determine the most effective and attractive use of your space.

Something as simple as a walkway made of pavers, and a bench, can be used to create a quiet garden retreat. Or resurrecting that long neglected lawn into a thriving, safe organic grass play area for your family and pets.

Outdoor kitchens have become increasingly popular, offering an enjoyable combination of grilling space and garden beds. Space heaters can extend the use of these areas well into the fall months.

There are a wide variety of design elements to choose from to create a relaxing space that is uniquely your own and reflects your individual lifestyle. From plush gardens and blue stone patios, to decks and arbors, your yard can become the envy of the neighborhood!

Whether you do the work yourself or have it professionally done, begin with a design plan that is custom-tailored to your specific needs and desires. To better understand the design process, please download our free guide.

FAQs About Hiring a Professional Landscape Designer

Studies show that a well-executed, professional landscape design can increase a home’s value by 20 percent. Landscape designers utilize the creative process to plan an outdoor environment that’s a haven for your family and an asset to your home and neighborhood. Employing fundamental artistic design concepts of texture, color and proportion, they create anything from a sweeping, accented lawn to a quiet backyard room for relaxation.

How To Design Your Backyard- What's the Best Patio Size?

A patio is an investment not only in the value and outdoor appeal of a home, but also an investment in the quality of life for the homeowners that live there.  A quality outdoor patio material and of the right size provides the perfect environment for kids to play, entertainment area for your friends, or just to kick back and unwind at the end of a long day.

One of the many considerations that goes into a new outdoor patio is simply "how big should it be?".  If a patio is built too small it will feel crowded by the time the furniture, grills and planters are put on it.  If it's too big, you'll lose that intimate feel that patios can provide.  Feel free to use these ideas when deciding on just how big of a patio space you or your family may need.  



Top 5 Signs That You Need a New Front Yard Design

As a professional landscape design and maintenance company, we suggest these 5 signals to help you determine if your home needs a new landscape design this year.

Landscape Problems & Solutions (3 of 3): Creating Curb Appeal

Welcome to our 3rd and final blog of the Landscape Problems & Solutions series!

How to Add Curb Appeal to Your House

A landscape that is well designed and installed will increase curb appeal which can also increase property value.

Increase Your Property Value With Landscaping

If you are planning on selling your house this year or the next, landscaping is one of the most essential and rewarding things you can do to prepare for the prime selling season.

A Clemson University study found landscaping can result in more than 100% return on investment. The return on investment is contingent upon the quality of the landscape design and installation project and company. According to Clemson Professor, Mark Henry, "There are few guidelines available to homeowners on the return of investment in sales that could be expected from added investments in landscaping".

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