Curb Appeal: Less is More Landscaping

Article Posted By: Carrie Rigsby

Guest contributor Carrie Rigsby and her husband Chris are renovating a beautiful 125-year-old New England home. They’re sharing their experiences on the blog Hazardous Design. As you might guess, Carrie and Chris have learned a lot along the way as they rehabilitate the venerable old home. Carrie shares with us here the process of taming the front yard’s long-neglected landscaping.

One of the very first items on the project list for our home renovation was to trim back the overgrown shrubs that were threatening to take over the house. It was a relatively inexpensive job with almost immediate results. Exactly my kind of project.

the old home before landscaping
Moving Day

There seems to be a sweet spot when landscaping. Shrubbery that is too small can take years to grow into the right scale for the house. Shrubbery that is too large and overgrown can make a house look uninhabited and well, haunted. Our goal was to replace the shrubs that had grown to look like monsters with ones that enhanced the character and curb appeal of our home.

Although avid DIYers, my husband and I decided to consult the professionals for this job. We were concerned that our attempts to remove the trees ourselves would damage the stone foundation for our front porch and the stone wall abutting the sidewalk. Who knew how long those shrubs had been there and what their root systems had grown into?

new landscaping in place
Old shrubs are out and new ones planted

With the old shrubs out of the way, there was plenty of room for new plantings. Our landscaper helped us select some that were more appropriate in scale for our tiny front yard.

flowers in bloom, enhancing curb appeal

The best part? Nothing we planted threaten to grow to out of scale proportions any time soon.

We still have a long way to go with improving the curb appeal of our home, but I think we’re already off to a good start.

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