I approach gardening the same way I approached sending my kids to summer camp. “Have a great time Sweetie, I hope the weather is great and I’ll see you in a few weeks!” That approach didn’t work so well this August. Not with the campers (you can barely see the scar), but with my window boxes. Last weekend I decided to spruce up my front yard and was surprised to see that they had gone from charming to charcoal. Glancing around I realized my whole front yard could use some help, so I reached for my favorite gardening tool, my phone.
Fortunately my go-to stager and designer Johnathan Miller of JSquared, is on speed dial. Jonathan not only told me what I needed, but he and Jon jumped in their car, met me at a nursery, selected the plants, and loaded them in my SUV. Later that afternoon, my window boxes turned from “ow” to “wow”. My curb appeal makeover began.
“You never get the second chance to make a first impression,” advises Johnathan. “You never know who will cruise through your neighborhood to scout for a future purchase so you want to make sure that your curb appeal is well-groomed and maintained.” I asked him for his best low cost, high impact tips, and I wanted to share them with you.
Here are the Jsquared Team’s top 5 suggestions.
1. Keep Your Flowers Fresh–for pots and window boxes, a change in seasons is a perfect time to swap out dying plants. Use a mix of leafy plants on the sides and seasonal florals in the center.
2. Paint the Front Door–this low-cost weekend project pays high impact dividends. Pick a color you enjoy that coordinates with your walls and landscape plantings. I used a dark navy blue called Naval Blue which provides a nice contrast with my orange-hued colonial bricks.
3. Trim the Bush and Edge–most pruning should be done in late winter to early spring, but fall is a great time to give trees and bushes a little shaping up. Just stop trimming about six weeks before the first frost, and do a little research on flowering plants to make sure you aren’t accidentally cutting off spring-blooming buds.
Once the leaves have fallen, edge your flower beds and put down a layer of mulch. It helps to keep your yard attractive during the drab winter season, and mulch protects your perennials from the freezing-thawing cycle which can damage their roots.
4. Check your Mailbox– Have a street-side mailbox? Consider painting the box a fun color, get some fresh house numbers and add some stone or wood to the post to dress things up.
5. Stage the steps–Make sure your front porch looks taken care of and crisp. Discard worn-out welcome mats, add potted plants for interest, and if you have concrete steps, consider painting them.
For more details and tips from JSquared, click here.