Portland Landscaping: Seven ways to improve curbside appeal

April 30, 2013 12:00 am
Improving curb appeal is a phrase often used by realtors when trying to sell a home. They know the importance of making a good first impression. But even if you are not planning to sell your home anytime soon, a fresh and welcoming exterior is a wonderful thing to come home to each day. Here are seven suggestions from our Drake’s 7 Dees design team on how to improve the curb appeal for your Portland landscape.

  • Group plantings in sets of odd numbers.  Visual theorists suggest that this simple technique adds balance and interest through the creation of a dynamic composition.  Since the brain naturally tends to pair objects in an orderly manner, not being able to break down groups of plantings into pairs allows for a more enriching overall visual experience.  Remember if the odd number of plantings used is 1, it better be a good one, i.e., use focal point specimen plant
  • Use focal point specimen plantings.  A specimen plant is an ornamental plant that serves as a prime focus in a landscape. Using specimen plantings in your Portland landscape will make people take a second look as they pass your home.

  • Use a planting palette that creates an ‘ecosystem.’ In Portland landscaping perhaps the most recognizable ‘ecosystem’ plant palette would be the conifer woodland- throw together some columbine, sword fern, hellebore, doug firs, azaleas and call it a landscape. This is a great palette in which all of the plants work well together because they visually and physically create an ecosystem that naturally occurs. In our yards we need not create an ecosystem that is naturally occurring, but we can use the concept to execute plausible and appealing plant palettes whereby the plants seem at home and comfortable with their neighbors.
  • Make sure your front entry is visible and inviting. This happens two fold with hardscape/walkway and with plant material, making sure the architecture is softened and enhanced by appropriate landscaping and plant material. If possible, the best option for a front walk is one independent from the driveway.
  • Update a tired landscape. Every landscape has a “shelf life.” Sometimes plant selections can make a property look tired and out of date. Exchanging a few ‘outdated’ plants with some fresh young selections can make the curbside crisp and fresh. Another way to wake a tired landscape is with careful and purposeful maintenance of older specimen plants, especially in the discipline of artistic pruning.
  • Use plants with complimentary textures, colors, and forms. Selecting plants with different yet complementary foliage textures, heights, and colors, as well as blossom color and blooming times is important for visual interest year round. Plant heights and foliage textures define depth and variation of space in front yard.
  • Add pottery filled with seasonal flowers. Container gardens are welcoming and add a colorful appeal to any home exterior. Flowers on a roomy front walk or porch give a place to stop and welcome guests before entering the home. This is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to add color and warmth.