Next time you pull into your driveway, take a moment to really look at your home and yard.
How does it look and feel to you?
Is it comfortable and uplifting?
Are there splashes of colour, even in winter?
How about a little fragrance?
Are your existing trees, shrubs and plantings the right size in relation to your home?
Are they planted in the right places, and in pleasing combinations?
Do you have a shade tree to cool your home on those very hot summer days?
While you’re thinking about your front yard, perhaps step into your back yard and ask yourself those same questions and more: Can you sit down, relax and enjoy your surroundings? Do you have enough privacy? Is your outdoor patio large enough to share with family and friends? Is there a covered area so that when it rains there is still a favourite place outdoors to relax after work, and to enjoy a few days off?
Have you invited nature into your garden? Are there pollinator plants for bees? Any trees with berries to feed overwintering birds? How about a few plants for the Anna’s Hummingbirds? And will your existing plants be colourful enough to attract butterflies in summer?
Do you have a food garden large enough to grow fresh produce and herbs, along with some strawberries and other small fruits like blueberries? Can you go out into your garden and enjoy a freshly picked apple, pear, peach or plum from an espaliered tree, one that takes up very little space on a trellis?
Our homes are the usually the first place we choose to spend most of our free time.
Why not invest some time thinking about how you can make the garden more enjoyable, and even more productive too? When done professionally, any outside improvements will also add a good deal of value to your home, so don’t overlook your landscaping when planning home renovations and upgrades.
This is one of the best times of year to assess your outdoor areas, because without any colour or leaves on your trees, you can get a good sense of what needs improving.
It is also the ideal time to engage a professional designer or an experienced landscape architect. Whether you can undertake the entire installation all at once, or budget constraints mean you will have to work on specific areas over time, it is critical to have an overall, long-range layout and design.
You can incorporate hardscaping, like patios, along with your landscaping and often change the feel and function of your entire yard.
The addition of covered outdoor seating, privacy walls, water features, screening, and thoughtfully designed landscaped beds can add so much to the beauty and comfort of where you live and spend time. You will not only add value to your home, you’ll also be able to extend the length of time during the year that you can utilize the yard and heighten your enjoyment of your surroundings.
So, each time you turn into your driveway or look out into your yard, just think of all the possibilities!