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Niagara Falls
Thursday, March 30, 2023
Growing Together: Curb appeal and making your entrance inviting
Potted plants can warm up your entranceway. Joanne Young

Dressing up your front entrance is a great way to add curb appeal and make your guests feel welcome.

Update your walkway: The front walkway that leads the eye to your entry and is an important design element.  

The walkway should extend out from the house and meet you as you come up the driveway.

Make sure your sidewalk is in balance with the size of your home. The larger the home, the wider the walkway should be.

You want it to be a minimum of five feet wide so a couple can approach your front door walking hand-in-hand. Replacing an older, cracked concrete sidewalk with a new, wider, more interesting-shaped one goes a long way when trying to improve curb appeal.

Add a garden: There is nothing like well-designed gardens for adding curb appeal. Plants can be used to enhance and frame key visual points of your home, like the front entrance and key architectural accents.

Plants can also be used to convey the style of your home, whether that’s traditional, modern, cottage or other. 

The right combination of plants provides a punch of colour and seasonal interest to make it stand out from others.

Without regular maintenance, though, trees and shrubs can take over your yard and block your house. And while this may add some privacy, it can also take away from its curb appeal. 

Proper pruning and regular maintenance can make your property look fresh and clean, kind of like a new hair cut. Even just pruning some lower branches on a shade tree can give your home a facelift.

Edging the gardens: Something as simple as keeping your gardens edged can make a big difference in curb appeal. A nice clean edge makes things look well cared for. 

Whether you are edging by hand a couple times a year or using equipment, it is well worth the time. 

You may also want to consider laying some pavers flush with the lawn to make a more permanent edge. Keep the lines of your garden simple, with bold curves or a strong geometric pattern.

Make a lawn look great: Often your lawn is the first thing someone will see when they look at your home. I am not a big proponent of using a lot of insecticides and herbicides to achieve the perfect lawn, but just regular maintenance and staying on top of problem areas can keep it looking good. 

Mowing consistently will help keep the lawn thick. Irregular mowing causes the grass to thin out. Also, reseeding your lawn in spring and/or fall will keep your lawn looking lush.

The thicker the lawn is the fewer weeds you will have.

Make door stand out: Your front door makes up a big part of your curb appeal and improving it can be an easy project. Just a simple change of paint colour can have a big impact.  

Or maybe it is time to replace the old door with a more stylish one. The color you choose is important.  It’s OK to go for something bold if you want, but before getting started you want to be sure the colour you choose with will not clash with the other colours on your house. 

Add potted plants: A couple well-placed decorative pots will also enhance your curb appeal. But be careful to choose pots that match the scale of your home. 

If you have a large front-entrance area, small containers will not do any justice to the overall effect and the same for goes for too-large of pots at a small entrance. 

The pots should also convey your desired overall look, whether it is contemporary, traditional or cottage. For a classic and affordable design that always looks great, try two identical pots on either side of the front door.

A single stunning flower box will also do the trick. 

One of the great things about containers is that you can use them to provide changing, seasonal interest to your home.

Joanne Young is a Niagara-on-the-Lake garden expert and coach. See her website at joanneyoung.ca.

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