If your yard is a little lacklustre and you’re looking for ways to increase curb appeal, here are some of the easiest ways to spruce it up, minus the headaches or prohibitive timelines.
Try some hydrangeas
Oh hydrangea, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways. Is it your large globes of pastel-coloured flowers that look like a bridal bouquet waiting to happen? Or is it the way you so effortlessly take up space, and how quickly you grow to maturity — up to 25 inches per year? These morning sun, afternoon shade-loving perennials grow to a maximum height of five to 15 feet, depending on the species.
Grow red twig dogwood
A fast-growing, low-maintenance shrub that’s attractive in all seasons is what you’ll get with the red twig dogwood. With variegated soft green leaves and creamy white flowers in spring, white berries in summer, and stunning fire-red twigs in winter, these show-stoppers will brighten any drab landscape. Plant several in a row for a makeshift hedge.
Plant some fast-growing clematis
Bright, colourful, and fast-growing, this member of the buttercup family known as “the queen of climbers” can thrive in full or partial sun. A climbing vine with white, purple, or pink flowers, clematis can grow up to 30 feet in just a few months. For even speedier results, purchase a container-grown plant that’s at least two years old that is already growing vigorously. Be sure to provide it with a trellis or something similar to grab onto.
Try hostas under your trees
Shade-tolerant hostas, with their large green, blue, cream, and yellow-hued leaves make filling in bare spots underneath trees in your yard a breeze. These rugged perennials will tolerate almost any soil. However, not all hostas love shade equally. The lighter the foliage, the brighter the sun it will need to maintain its colour.
Organise with some boxwoods
The reliable Toyota of the landscaping world, while boxwoods aren’t “exciting,” they sure are a reliable way to give your yard a quick jolt of structure and polish. These low-maintenance evergreens with rich, year-round foliage come in many sizes, and keep their colour year-round.
Use Knock Out and drift roses
While traditional rose bushes can be high-maintenance, the Knock Out family of roses require less pruning, spraying, and fertilizing. Growing an average size of three to four feet tall, Knock Out bushes provide 11 varieties of rose blooms in red, pink, yellow, white, and coral hues from spring to first frost. The smaller but no less pretty drift roses, that top out at about 18 inches, offer lovely ground cover in sunny locations.
Landscape with yuccas
Native to hot and dry climates, yuccas are evergreen ornamentals with tough-sword-shaped leaves and white flowers that require almost no watering (except in cases of severe drought). Whether you pick a greenish-yellow or red-tinted variety, you’re sure to find one among its 40-50 species that can improve your yard’s overall look.
Use some front door planters
If you don’t have front door planters already, you should. Spruce up that blah patch of cement in front of your door with a decorative urn on each side. Fill them with boxwood topiaries, false cypress, dwarf blue spruce, emerald green arborvitae, or Japanese skimmia, just to name a few. For extra colour, underplant them with golden creeping jenny, pansies, lungwort, primrose, bluebells, or superbells.
Or use potted plants and annuals
Create vibrancy by adding potted plants — such as ferns, autumn joy sedums, impatiens, or caladium — in a variety of shades that contrast with the colour of your mulch or your home’s exterior. Annuals like zinnias, begonias, marigolds, and petunias (or pansies and mums in the cooler months) are easy to hang or place in window boxes for an extra dose of sweet, colourful charm.