How to create the wow factor – Kerb Appeal

Kerb Appeal

Clematis adds focus to this doorway

Kerb Appeal is pretty much what it says on the packet. It’s all about making the most of what your house has to offer. They say don’t judge a book by its cover but when it comes to renting or selling your house, what the front of your house looks like could make the difference between success or not – because when it comes to selling a house it really is all about first impressions.

If your front garden is a mess with weeds, dull looking window sills and with no window boxes or hanging baskets then your potential buyer’s first impression will be forever ruined

It really is hard to find a front garden which not only looks different but has any kind of wow factor.

I think a lot of it is down to the fact that  so many properties are let these days and there is now a requirement in the letting arrangement for the garden to be looked after – but this tends to be ignored and the garden ends up going to rack and ruin.

Most people seem to find it difficult to come up with a design for a front garden and that’s why so many seem to end up being concreted over.

In this modern age no one has time to maintain gardens which is a shame. That’s what was so revolutionary about the idea behind Hampstead Garden Suburb which was created in 1907 as a social experiment, and intended to ‘cater for all classes of people and all income groups.’

Despite the founders’ original intentions, Hampstead Garden Suburb is now considered to be one of the wealthiest areas in the country.

However, the principle of low density housing, separated by hedges rather than walls, and set in wide, tree-lined roads is something we could learn from today.

Many front gardens  in my locality are either dreary or unkempt  in good need of a weed and prune.

For many of us it does come down to money but you really don’t need to spend a lot to make a difference. In addition once you have put your design in to practice it really shouldn’t take more than typically 30 minutes a month and less during the winter to keep it looking good.

One simple garden design I came across on one of my dog walks is quite effective.

The garden roughly measures three metres by three metres and has been filled with gravel. It has a small border with two container bound ornamental trees along with window boxes and a hanging basket.

The garden has two large potted Bay (Laurus nobilis) trees which are great to shape and also smell great plus you can use the leaves in cooking but equally you could opt for an Olive or Topiary tree.

They need little shaping with minimal pruning no more than twice a year.

Top tips:

  • Gravel: there are lots of different shapes,  sizes and colours to choose from.
  • To prevent weeds in your borders use ornamental bark.
  • Look on the Internet for bargains
  • Pick low maintenance plants and make sure you have two thirds evergreen so you have all year round colour.
  • Use bulbs to enhance existing shrubs.

One of the easiest and quickest ways to spruce up a front garden is window boxes and or hanging baskets.

Opt for a summer and autumn look. Pansies are long lasting and ivy makes a good trailing plant. Lobelia is great for summer. Apart from watering they will need little maintenance aside from the occasional dead heading.

Buxus (Box), and Cordylines are great as focal points in window boxes and easy to maintain.