Landscaping = $$$$$

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A well designed and well maintained landscape will add to property value. A planting bed like this, with plants jammed together, improperly pruned, and weeds growing will detract from the value.

A well designed and well maintained landscape will add to property value. A planting bed like this, with plants jammed together, improperly pruned, and weeds growing will detract from the value.

 

Curbside appeal… Real estate agents use the term often, but what does it really mean? Simply stated it is the attractiveness of the exterior of a residential or commercial property. Although there are many ways to improve the “curb appeal” of a property, painting, new doors, windows and fixtures for example, landscaping may well be the easiest outdoor “fix”.

If you are planning to sell your property, it is essential that the landscape be in good condition. Many real estate agents feel that the sale is made or broken by the initial curb appeal. Buyers do not want to feel overwhelmed by a messy landscape or the thought of all the work it will take to get it in order. According to the Society of Real Estate Appraisers, 95% of their members say landscaping adds to property value, and 99% agree that a good landscape increases the speed of home sales. Smart Money Magazine reports that by spending 5% of the value of your home on a quality low-maintenance landscape, you could boost the resale value by 15%, earning back 150% of your investment. Estimates vary and range from a 15% to 30% increase in the resale value of a home. Money Magazine reports that good landscaping can bring a recovery value of 100% to 200%, by far the most recovery value of all the other home remodeling efforts.
Even if you aren’t selling your home it is a good feeling to come home to a well-ordered landscape. Plantings designed to shade the windows and walls of a home can reduce air conditioning costs by up to 50% according to the American Public Power Association. Additional benefits of a well designed landscape other than the obvious aesthetics include: air quality improvement, reduced temperatures, increased habitat, fruit, vegatables and herbs for eating if you choose to plant them, but in this busy world noise abatement is an important quality that plants possess.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states that trees and shrubs can reduce traffic noise by up to 50% and mask unwanted noises with pleasant sounds.

These facts are proof that landscaping/gardening is an excellent investment of your time and money. Take this last bit of winter to observe and make plans for improvement. The spring rush will soon be upon us with weeding, planting, and all of the other challenges that come with the new season.

Some timely tips for the do-it-yourself gardeners:

1. Be sure that any ornamental grasses, that need pruning, are cut back. Examples could include Pampas grass, Liriope or Fountain grasses.

2. Crape Myrtles should be pruned now as they bloom on new wood.

3. Roses should be pruned now.

4. February is the right time to prune grape vines.

5. If you’re not buried under snow, see that you have a 2-3″ blanket of mulch on your beds,    to prevent weeds from germinating in the spring.

6.Make plans to improve your garden with additional planting and by improving design flaws.

7. Review our previous articles for design and maintenance tips.

Until next time, stay warm and get grounded.

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