By Erin Langford | LawnStarter
The art of landscaping isn’t just about planting a tree here and there. Creating a picture-perfect balance of aesthetics and practicality takes planning, especially if you hope to increase the value of your Phoenix-area home. Sculpted landscaping will reduce energy usage, lower utility bills, and make the house feel like “home.” Curb appeal is part of the layout, whether you have a front yard garden or a solid lawn. Today’s landscaping trends give your house a unique edge.
Jazz up the front and back yards by mowing in patterns. Lawn striping in zigzags, checkerboards, arches, diamonds, squiggly lines, and infinity shapes are eye-catching and impressive. Rollers and striping kits are available at your local hardware store. As with straight-line mowing, cutting in the same direction each time will tamp down grass blades; remember to change the mowing path each time. Want a truly personalized lawn? Get creative and mow the Diamondbacks or Suns’ logo in the grass.
Rock Out With Garden Greenery
Nothing says simple suburban living like native flower beds and vegetable gardens. Cacti and other succulent plants are attractive and low maintenance: Both are essential when it comes to increasing the value of your home.
Low maintenance and xeriscaping go together — a garden of rocks, drought-tolerant plants, ornamental grasses, and a few ornamentals like wind chimes and sun catchers.
Rocks keep moisture in the ground, and there are fewer weeds to pull. Mulch the ground for extra protection.
Layered trees and shrubs block direct sunlight from the house and may cut HVAC bills up to 25 percent. Trees provide shade to windows, walls, and roofs. Although the temperature rarely drops below 35 degrees in the Phoenix area, trees with thick foliage also offer shelter during unexpected cold snaps.
Plant native trees like
● Arizona cypress
● Sweet acacia
● Desert ironwood
● Emery oak
● Gregg ash
Place each tree so there’s ample growing space between them, layered in an arc-like circle (with the tallest in the back row). Front row shrubs like desert holly and pink fairy duster add a little color to the greenery.
Ecologically-sound rain gardens control erosion and promote healthy earth, even in dry climates. Along with absorbing excess rainwater, rain gardens catch water runoff from the sidewalk and street. They filter pesticides, fertilizers, and other contaminants from soaking into the ground. Rain gardens create a pleasant habitat for pollinating butterflies, birds, and bees.
No matter how big or small your backyard, outdoor living is part of the joy of homeownership. Dress up the yard with a deck or patio, walkways, pergola, and barbecue pit. Outdoor fountains and waterfalls create a rustic charm. Decorative fencing of wood, bricks, or glass blocks keep pets safe as they protect the yard.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a pool to cool off in during those hot Arizona summers! If you don’t have a pool, determine if digging one is worth the investment. Would-be homebuyers may think so, and they’re likely to seriously consider a house with a swimming pool.
Smart gadgets are part of today’s landscaping — they’re fun, too. Cellphone apps control lights, barbecues, swimming pool heaters, garden cameras, wireless speakers, and robotic mowers … just to name a few. Want to know when to water the lawn and garden? Let the smart sprinkler decide. High-tech toys with artificial Intelligence are among the latest trends in landscaping.
DIY or HAP?
Homeowners who like to get their hands dirty may enjoy digging in the dirt for an easy DIY project. But for the bigger jobs, your best bet is to HAP – Hire A Professional. Let the pros handle the details and the dirty work.
Erin Langford is a home stager and landscape design writer. She loves entertaining and playing in her backyard, but she hates yard work. She recently expanded her patio and living room into one seamless area.
Stay tuned for more landscaping, yard, and outdoor tips and tricks!