Creative Curb Appeal

Curb appeal, the term that realtors use to describe a front yard that lures in prospective buyers, is important whether you’re selling a house or simply want to improve the monetary and aesthetic value of your home sweet home.

Did you know?

Proper landscaping increases the value of a home by up to 15 percent and an investment in landscaping is estimated to pay for itself five to 10 times over when a home sells. Properly designed landscaping can also help improve the function of a yard by reducing soil erosion and noise pollution and providing a screen from the sun, wind or even the neighbors.

How to get more curb appeal:

Small additions of plants, such as a couple of lovely plant-filled containers placed at your entryway, or a stunning accent tree or shrub strategically planted in the yard, can easily and affordably increase your curb appeal.

If you’re ready for a larger makeover, use a mix of carefully selected plants to provide year-round beauty to your yard and home. Whichever route you take,  the Southern Living Plant Collection has the plants you need.

1. For a quick and simple improvement, create a container garden for your front porch or entryway that will provide color and style all year long.

2. Embellish the mailbox, a trellis or the front stoop handrails of your house with a vine.

'Angyo Star' Fatshedera, a semi-upright plant with rich green sweet gum-shaped leaves bordered in creamy white, can climb and drape beautifully on any structure or tumble from a container. 

3. Add structure without obscuring using small accent trees.

In the business of plant selection, trees are considered the best investment. The Early Bird™ crapemyrtle series offers the option of lavender, white or purple flowers that begin blooming in May, much earlier than other June-July blooming crapemyrtles, and continue to re-bloom for up to four months. Delta Jazz™ is  a versatile dwarf crapemyrtle that boasts brilliant pink blooms and unique dark burgundy cupped leaves. It provides winter and fall foliage color, adding year-round interest to the landscape. Looking for a southern favorite that adds elegance to your landscape? Try Empress of China® Dogwood, which produces clusters of white blooms in the spring and translucent strawberry-like fruit in the fall.

4. Add some shrubs!

are second only to trees in their return on investment and the Southern Living Plant Collection has more than 40 selections to choose from in a range of color, bloom and size options.

Flowering shrubs:

The October Magic™ Camellia series offers evergreen foliage and early winter color with their luscious blooms. 

Jubilation™ Gardenia displays gorgeous white blooms that infuse the air with their sweet fragrance from spring through fall.

Little Bonnie™ Dwarf Spiraea has blue-green foliage and produces lavender-pink flowers in the spring and often on through the summer.

For long-season color (summer through fall) opt for the beautiful blue blooms of ‘Big Daddy’ Hydrangea.

Non-flowering shrubs:

Bronze Beauty™ Cleyera displays beautiful shades of bronze and green foliage and helps achieve a uniform look in the landscape.

Baby Gem™ Boxwood is an exceptionally compact boxwood and excellent for use in smaller gardens for borders and focal areas.

Yewtopia® Plum Yew is ideal for areas where low growing hedges are needed. 

Robin® Holly’s pyramidal shape, lush, dark green foliage and red berries make it an easy choice for a hedge or privacy planting. 

5. Finish up and fill-in with ornamental grasses, annuals and perennials.

Ornamental grasses add structure and interest to a landscape. 

Marc Anthony® and Cleopatra® Liriopes can be used as  a border, mass planting or container specimens. 

‘Gold Breeze’ Miscanthus, with its broad and graceful apple-green and yellow leaf blades and feathery gold plumes is stunning in the landscape as an accent plant or on a slope.

Annuals and perennials are perfect for filling in gaps and adding depth.

Plants such as Sassy Grass™ Sisyrinchium and Queen Mum™ Agapanthus can be used in containers, flowerbeds, window boxes, mass plantings or as borders along walkways.

To find just the right plants to enhance your curb appeal, spend some time browsing the Southern Living Plant Collection and find ones that best fit your taste, climate and needs, then get busy turning your front yard into the envy of the neighborhood and a magnet for buyers or even just visitors.