Curb appeal takes on a whole new meaning in autumn with some landscaping ideas
The colours of fall make it a perfect time of year to really enhance the front of your home with landscaping.
Leverage the cooler weather, as well as the beautiful plants and flowers that bloom at this time of year, to create a visual impression.
Planning your landscaping so that you have colour and texture all year around is ideal and easy to do. Incorporating perennials, shrubbery and grasses that bloom at different times of year assures you a beautiful front yard (well, with the exception of the blanket of snow from January through March!)
If you have deciduous trees on your property, Mother Nature will help you along in terms of brilliant colours, but there’s so much you can add to improve upon her good work!
Fix The Basics
If your lawn has patches or your planting beds need weeding, turning and mulching, now is the time. The cooler weather is an ideal time to start thinking about overseeding your lawn, to fix patches. Why? Because the cooler temperatures mean less evaporation of the soil moisture.
Grass seeds will have the opportunity to germinate and build a solid root structure before the stems take over, in the spring. Use a high quality overseeding soil with your new seeds and be sure to give it all plenty of water.
Don’t forget to do plenty of raking to pull up the dead grasses and remove your leaves. Your lawn can breathe better without the extra layer, though some fallen leaf coverage can be helpful to protect plant beds from an early frost.
It’s also a good time to take a look at your hardscaping and make sure it’s all in good condition for the upcoming winter. Your walkways and retaining walls should be repaired, as ice forming in cracks can expand and create further damage.
While water features are lovely in spring and summer, it’s a good time to drain yours and prepare it for winter by covering up any pool basins, so they don’t get clogged with falling leaves and other autumn detritus.
Establish Some New Color And Texture
Your summer blooms are fading, so it’s time to add some shades of fall. In fact, autumn is an ideal time to plant perennials because, just as with the grass seed above, the warm soil and mild evaporation make ideal conditions for roots to form and take hold.
What flowers and plants will bloom through the fall, improving the look of your landscape?
- Hostas – from vibrant blue to dark red, there are many shades to pluck up your garden.
- Daylilies – pinks and purples to gold and yellow, you’ve many shades of the rainbow in these!
- Daisies – who doesn’t love daisies? To quote that old goody of a movie “You’ve Got Mail”: “They’re such happy flowers.” True.
- Peonies – usually more subtle in creams, pinks and lavenders, these flowers add a special subtlety to any landscape design.
- Chrysanthemums – that quintessential fall flower has lovely blooms to brighten your front garden.
As for texture, there’s nothing more elegant than some beautiful ornamental grasses, waving in the autumn breeze. They can add some flourish when other plants are beginning to be cut back for the season and are hardy enough to withstand our winters.
Trees and shrubs often do very well if planted in the fall, for the same reasons as the grass seed and plants, as noted above, so if you don’t yet have any trees with leaves that change (deciduous) in the fall, now is a great time to add some to your landscape plan. Just be sure to buy a rake at the same time!
Fall is also a good time to consider adding a structure to your hardscape, whether that is an arbor or a stone retaining wall, slate stepping stones or boulders. Whatever look you’re trying to achieve in your garden, adding structure to its already good bones will improve the look immeasurably!
Let There Be Light
Another way to enhance the landscape is to add some strategic lighting. Thanks to solar powered units, you can place lighting along your walk way or throughout your gardens to highlight the hard work you’ve put into them!
Porch lighting can be so much fun if you indulge in a wrought iron sconce or perhaps a hanging lantern? Whatever you choose, lighting the front of your home really improves the welcoming look of it.
Evergreens Are Important Too
With all this talk about adding colour, don’t forget that standing evergreens add symmetry and consistency to a garden, to say nothing of year round privacy and a beautiful backdrop for your blooming autumnal plant beds. That contrast of a dark green background with flaming florals and grasses set in front? Beautiful!
Improve Your Front Entrance
In addition to the landscaping, you can add a touch of fall to your front entrance by incorporating a seasonal wreath or planters on either side of the door, filled with fall foliage, grasses, flowers and more.
The key with entrance decor is to be subtle, with a few touches rather than overflowing buckets of plants and greenery. This is definitely one of those time when less is more. There’s one exception to that rule however: if you’re big on the fall holidays like Halloween, you can add a lot of color and a whole lot of fun with pumpkins and hay bales, scarecrows and fake spiders. Just be sure to take it all down before Santa comes by on his sleigh!
Ultimately, if you have a front porch, keep the furniture out as long as you can: it’s a lovely way to spend a cool evening, with a blanket and some hot chocolate, enjoying the landscape you’ve created!