Make Your Home Stand Out For Under $1000

Make Your Home Stand Out For Under $1000
July 23, 2013

If, for under $1000, you could make your home stand out from all the others in the neighbourhood; create increased impact and street appeal, adding to your capital value and develop a tailor made, long term recreation space/landscape worthy of your individuality and your family’s needs, would you do it?

We all know the days of getting a trailer load of likely suspects from the plant shop down the road are past, but still, too often, the planning for the landscape is not much more than dialing up a few mates, putting in a larger deck, and planting some, possibly unsuitable, shrubs here and there. With the trend for homeowners to be more aware of landscape potential, through the endless, and sometimes dreadful, DIY reality shows, the opportunity exists to take even fairly simple buildings to another level, with well considered planning.

imagesSound landscape planning ideas need not be costly to execute and chances are the elements to build a stunning courtyard space or a truly welcoming entry will not be expensive, just well thought out, and therefore appreciated by your family, guests, even subsequent owners. Good designers think longer term as well as short term and the garden should mature well as you use the property. Do not imagine that you will be “left” with a drawing that offers an unsuitable plan and disappointing plant suggestions. A good designer will listen to your needs and accommodate bouncy dogs, pollen allergies, a passion for purple, or the water feature you were given but would like slightly hidden. It will still be your garden, if properly advised.

Even with smaller sections you can still have satisfying views. A fine shaped fruit tree giving deciduous shade, fruit and form to a narrow space; simple but cleverly planted screens to disguise utility areas; a play space, but adaptable as the kids grow, to be ‘newspaper and cup of coffee’ parent space; vegetable areas integrated into ornamental planting, (no dead patch in winter) : just some of the things that can be sorted.

Gardens are, more than ever, an extension of the house. Colours and design features can be carried through to give continuity. Matching tiles, offered with different grades of slip resistance, can be laid as indoor and outdoor surfaces so rooms seem twice the size…add a beautiful Persimmon tree or deciduous Magnolia…a few pots and a table and, if the balance and scale are right, you have a shady, elegant courtyard that will need only some pruning for the next ten or fifteen years.

ZamiasThe most common requests at client landscaper briefings are for “easy care” and for the garden to be different from the others in the street. Neither of these should be a problem. To lumber the site with yet another Grisilinia hedge and evergreen Magnolia grandiflora is a default position we should get changed.

Value landscape, and please landscape well, not just for 3 years but maybe 30. The plants can alter over time, but if the scale, design and framework are right the house will look great, and you will have had extra value and enjoyment from your initial attention to detail.

This month our guest writer is national award winning landscape designer Hilary Smythe. Hilary has ten major national awards, more than twenty years running her landscape business and several years as an art gallery director in Newmarket. You can visit her at

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