By Brian A Schmidt
As you drive around the neighborhoods what causes you to do a double take?
The size and general appearance of course can make this happen. But the look of the yard and property are probably the main things that catch your eye. That’s because you must look past the yard to see the house. Your yard can make or break the first impression of you, your home and your lifestyle.
Landscape is a great Investment
Quite often, landscaping is often overlooked as an asset to your residence. Many people are reluctant to invest time and money in developing a pleasing streetscape for their homes.
Some even see having to landscape in the vein of a necessary evil; or even money wasted.
The truth is however that carefully planned landscaping can increase the value of your home. An attractive yard will portray the image of a well kept and looked after home.
Attractive landscaping need not be expensive. A modest well planned landscape can be just as powerful (and sometimes more powerful) than a pricey but undisciplined landscape design.
Well planned placement of trees and shrubs can actually save you money in utility costs. Trees placed in appropriate positions can provide tons of cooling during the hot summers that you will not have to pay for. And if these trees are deciduous they will allow the warming rays of the winter sun to help warm your home.
Tree placement can save you money now and when you sell your home they can increase your home’s value. Landscaping – if well designed – is definitely an asset.
But should you spend your money now?
We have all heard the saying “You have but one chance to make a first impression”. While you procrastinate over landscaping your home’s front yard how many people will visit and make their impression of you and your home?
Will your boss visit you? Will clients have a need to meet you at your home or simply drop something off? What about new friends?
You have the opportunity to impress these people with the appearance of your residence. Because you have landscaped your yard well it may help to gain the lasting trust and friendships that we all strive to have in our business and personal lives.
What value can you place on that?
My Home is My Sanctuary
Life today is at a rat-race pace. We all work hard and have stressful jobs. Would it not be comforting to pull into the driveway of your “castle” and view the pleasing and relaxing landscape that greets you?
You get out and the scent of the lilacs in bloom envelopes you. Perhaps it’s the gentle fragrance of a rose hedge. Or maybe it’s simply aromatic evergreens.
In any case when that fragrance fills your head, the stresses of the day seem to melt away. As you walk to your door you gaze across the landscape and… “Ahhhh. I’m home”.
Again, you can’t put a monetary value on that kind of stress relief. The calming senses and emotions provided to you in part by a pleasing landscape can be both enjoyable and rejuvenating.
Landscaping for Healthy Living?
We have already mentioned the emotional benefits of landscaping. But are there other healthy benefits in landscaping?
Trees, shrubs and plants can increase the air quality in the micro climate of your yard. You open your windows to get some fresh air into your home. Wouldn’t it make sense to have the best quality fresh air available coming in?
Maintaining your gardens yourself can be very healthy indeed. My wife and spend many hours in our gardens working off the stress of a busy day or week. We find it very relaxing.
Relaxing but exercise! Because we are doing physical activity outdoors we are getting the benefit of not only the fresh air but the exercise as well. Now we’re not talking muscle building painful exercise here. A little hoeing and weeding provides us with stretching, bending and a modest work-out.
And when you are done you can relax and enjoy the yard and gardens with a sense of accomplishment (another benefit – that of well-being).
The Aesthetics of Landscaping
So far we have talked about the advantages of landscaping from a more spiritual approach. But there are a number of reasons to landscape certain areas of your property to simply make them more aesthetically pleasing.
Do you have a steel garden shed or a steel shop building that looks like it just plunked down from the sky? Or maybe there is one wall that is just plain ugly to look at.
You can soften the view and actually use the shed wall as a backdrop for some strategically placed specimens. A trellis or two with some climbing roses or vines will make the buildings look like they actually belong in the landscape.
Become a Friend of the Environment
You don’t have to be considered and “environmentalist” to embrace the environment. With all of the healthy and emotional benefits of a pleasant landscape you have simply become friends with the environment.
You are providing beauty and a cleaner environment for you, your family and your community. You may even become a community leader for your modest efforts.
Your landscape can provide these benefits for years to come. Your children and your grandchildren will benefit from your efforts today.
My Home is My Castle
With a little planning and work you will be proud to call your home your “castle”. And with all the benefits we have discussed you can see that there can be a return on your investment now and for many years to come.
Landscaping however goes far beyond the monetary benefits. You will have health benefits, emotional benefits, environmental benefits and a happier home for you and your family.
Brian A Schmidt is the author and publisher of a Pre-Fab Metal Buildings website. He lives in a small community in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. Having owned his own construction company Brian has been a long time construction manager including working with a low-rise residential metal building packages fabricator, Brian enjoys gardening and woodworking in his backyard workshop. Brian enjoys traveling with his wife - especially on cruise vacations.