Landscaping Ideas for Every Lifestyle

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 26 May 2015 08:35

With spring just around the corner (and no doubt more welcome than usual this year), many homeowners are turning their attention to the exteriors of their homes. Once the snow has melted and minor repairs have been made to gutters, windows, and siding battered by this year's harsh winter, it's time to think about landscaping.

Some people are more naturally inclined to artistic, beautifully maintained plants and greenery. But even if you aren't one of them, there are plenty of landscaping options that even people with the brownest of thumbs can manage to implement and sustain. By visiting your local nursery and talking with the employees, you can get an idea of the types of plantings that don't require a lot of ongoing maintenance. You might also consider alternative ground cover, such as mulch or decorative gravel, that doesn't require as much maintenance as grass.

Here are a few considerations when making decisions about landscaping your yard:

1) Front yard beautification.
Your front yard is your chance to showcase your home and style. A front yard isn't just about plants, trees, and hedges. You also need to consider the maintenance of your driveway and walkways, the entry to your home, fencing and borders, and focal points such as hanging baskets or statuary. You don't have to plant flower beds or gardens to inject color. Planters and baskets studded with annuals and a seasonal front door wreath can add the splash of color you need.

2) Back yard functionality.
How do you plan to use your back yard this spring, summer, and fall? If it's going to be the outdoor quarters for your dog or a children's play area, you'll want to consider different types of plantings than if you want to dine al fresco, entertain outdoors, or create a quiet sanctuary away from life's hustle and bustle. Maybe you love gardening and plan to plant and grow flowers and vegetables. Whatever its function, your back yard needs a design to fit its purpose, whether it contains treehouses and swing sets, an outdoor kitchen and dining area, or raised flower beds.

3) Flower power.
If you love flowers but have trouble growing them, there are plenty of varieties that are easy to plant and maintain. Sunflowers are cheerful and grow easily from seeds in sunny areas of a yard. California poppies are bright and vivid, yet grow well in poor soil and with little water. Marigolds, also sun-seekers, grow quickly and come in varying colors and heights. Colorful columbines grow in both full sun and partial shade and attract hummingbirds. If your yard is shady, consider planting some impatiens with colorful blooms ranging from orange to pink to violet.

4) Manage wildlife.
Bird feeders and bird baths are a great way to attract colorful birds to your yard. Birdseed is readily available in bulk at your local home improvement store or pet center if you are a bird watcher or want to fill your back yard with birdsong. To keep your pets safe, make sure they are contained with proper fencing or shelters. It's increasingly common to find city-dwellers and suburbanites raising chickens for their eggs. A sturdy enclosure for your domesticated birds will keep them safe from wild animals and the perils of neighborhood streets, but be sure to check zoning restrictions to make sure that your municipality allows for the presence of such animals.

Meanwhile, if you want to repel mosquitoes and ticks, skunks, or other unwanted guests, you might want to check out the variety of natural repellents that are widely available. There are companies that will spray your yard with all-natural repellent to drive away those pesky mosquitoes.

After a long winter, it's time to emerge from our homes and begin to enjoy the outdoors once again. While you're waiting for the final drifts of snow to melt away, you might want to spend some time envisioning the type of landscaping options that will best fit your budget, ability, and lifestyle. After all, you're really only limited by your imagination.

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Lillian Montalto

In May of 2000, Lillian established Lillian Montalto Signature Properties.

Lillian has been the #1 Agent in New England for the past 19 years. Lillian is the founder, broker and principal of Lillian Montalto Signature Properties at 34 Park Street, Andover MA.

Lillian has closed over $1.5 Billion dollars worth of real estate in her career. She also personally coaches several of America’s top real estate agents. Lillian has also been recognized by the National Association of Realtors as America’s #1 Female Real Estate Agent. She is active in several community activities including the Andover Montessori School, North East Builders Association. YWCA, YMCA, and North Andover Lions Club. Lillian is only one of 67 real estate associates nationwide to have achieved 8 educational designations. Her firm also is a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, the #1 relocation company internationally.

Lillian has been a Brinton Super Star, a member of Bill Barrett's Top 50 and has been a keynote Speaker at NAR, the National Association of Realtors annual conference, and numerous Real Estate and Business seminars around the world, including Bali, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States. She and her husband Bob, were recently recognized by Art and Antiques Magazine as being one of America’s Top 200 Art Collectors in 2 different categories; Primitive Art and Decorative Arts. Their home was recently featured in Boston Magazine, Art and Antiques, and the North Shore magazine. Their collections have been featured in Art and Antiques, Veranda, Shelter and various Wood Art Magazines.

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