Outside In

Why landscaping makes the best impression

A house reflects the owner’s taste and values, and so does the surrounding landscape. To many, it is considered an important exterior element. A well-planned and maintained yard is the first thing people notice upon arrival at a property.

Landscaping contributes to the overall impression of a neighborhood. That is why many homeowner associations often have exacting rules regarding it. Although no such rules exist for this remodeled house, Mike Spillane made some simple enhancements to the property to mirror the beauty of the surrounding area.

The first thing he did was bury the gutter downspouts in the ground. By directing them away from the house and toward newly created planting beds, he provided an extra source of water for plants and shrubs while eliminating moisture seepage problems in the basement. Visually, the planting beds added color and soft lines that help break up the front and backyard while creating focal points.

Vegetation that thrives in full- to partial-sunlight was placed in the planting beds and covered with ample mulch. The mulch will provide a protective layer over the soil that adds nutrients, reduces weed growth, and acts as an insulator from the extreme hot and cold Midwest temperatures.

In the back of the house an old, metal shed was removed from the property. This left a large patch of bare dirt, so Spillane tilled the entire yard and planted grass seed where it was needed. Seeding a yard versus laying sod allows the grass to develop a deeper root system, and at this time of year, the conditions for planting are optimal for success.

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