Real Estate & Mortgage Insights

Flowers Add Quick Curb Appeal and Value

Even if you have a black thumb or hate to deal with gardening, colorful flowers can create a positive emotional impact on homebuyers and visitors to your home. They are inexpensive and easy, immediately enhancing your home's "curb appeal."

You can plant them in the ground, but it is actually easier to use an inexpensive redwood planter's box. Planter's boxes are rectangular in shape and fit nicely on a porch, patio, windowsill, or practically anywhere.

For the flowers, a splash of color is what is important.

Choose whatever appeals to you, but some flowers that are are colorful and easy to deal with are marigolds, pansies, snapdragons and alyssum. You can purchase them in trays of six for two to three dollars at most places.

If you want to do one-stop shopping, just step into your local Home Depot, Lowe's, or the local equivalent.

First, choose how many boxes you feel will help fill out the desired area. A typical box is two feet long, but they vary in size.

Second, you need the flowers. Marigolds are a bright yellow and vivid orange. Pansies are a variety of dark purple to pale violet. Snapdragons are taller and range from pink to blood red. Alyssum is used to fill out between the plants and have tiny white or purple flowers on a bed of green.

Third, get a bag of outdoor potting soil. If you don't know how much to buy, ask the customer service clerk who will love to help you.

Total cost: maybe ten dollars per box, plus the cost of the box.

All you do is fill up the box to the top with potting soil, tamp it down a little bit, make a hollow space using your fingers, pop the plant from the plastic tray and...plant it.

Repeat.

Plant the snapdragons in the back or middle, as they will be taller than the other flowers. Space in the pansies and marigolds using about twelve to fourteen total plants for each box (total combination of snapdragons, marigold and pansies).

Then take the alyssum and plant those in between the other plants so that everything looks full and green.

What you have is an "immediate" result, something that looks green, colorful, lush and full from the git-go. You don't have to wait weeks for a great-looking result.

After a few weeks, the flowers will grow taller, spread out, and the alyssum will begin to spill over the edges of the planter's box.

All of these plants like sunny areas to partial shade. It does not take a gardening genius to create a great effect. Use some plant food once every three weeks and water when things get dry.

If that isn't enough, buy a 12-inch wide clay pot and drop in an Inca Lily. Inca Lilies have large pinkish flowers and eventually grow into bushes about a foot and a half tall and wide. When you buy them at the nursery, they already have flowers, usually.

Once again, you get an immediate result - you don't have to wait around and can admire your work immediately.

Still not enough?

Get some Cyclamen in small pots. These have a base foliage of green and faintly white leaves, with red, pink, or white flowers that shoot up from the leaves. They look very nice, fit in smaller pots, and enjoy shady areas.

Why use planter's boxes and pots? Because it is less work, plus after you see the result, you'll want to take them with you. If you plant them in the ground and sell your house, they are "real estate" and must remain with the property.

This way, your new home looks "dressed up and accessorized" as soon as you move in.



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