FENG SHUI GARDEN: CURBS APPEAL
JC Moolman – Shen Mi Yuan Garden Design
At the beginning of May we ran a Facebook post about curb appeal. Over the past two months or so we’ve had some interesting feedback on it, so we decided to write this piece to expand a little more on the subject and bring it to our Beloved readers in a more forgiving and peaceful format.
Curb appeal refers to the attractiveness of your home from the street, and will form, and leave, a lasting impression. If you’re looking to sell your home or just want to enhance its appearance, improving curb appeal is one of the best ways to do it.
Here are some universal concepts that can help you easily improve your curb appeal, increase the value of your home, and while planning and doing it, you will have a lot of fun. You will also learn some valuable tricks and develop insights that you can share with your friends. It’s an interesting renovation, and while you get to keep an eye on the street, it’s an easy way to get to know your neighbours.
However, It doesn’t happen overnight. There are a lot of things to consider when planning an upgrade. First, assess the space you have to work with in terms of size, positioning, compass orientation (very important), wind direction, sun, shade, slope, existing immovables like walls, boulders, trees etc. This will help you cancel some of those wild ideas you’ve probably had – it’s also good to set aside a budget.
Add green and interest. A well-maintained lawn with trees and shrubs etc., can instantly make your home look more inviting. If you struggle with lawn, then creating a Native-plant Water-wise Stone-garden will fill a large space economically, while the addition of colourful flowering plants or shrubs to existing garden beds can create a Walk this Way kind of feeling.
Clean up. Get rid of any debris, dead plants and weeds. Fix the driveway if it needs holes filled in or bricks replaced. A good old power-clean goes a long way. Remove any weeds (a simple homemade weed killer with salt and vinegar will do the trick in a non-invasive way). Keep your section of the pavement free from debris, litter and dog-poo etc. Please, no empty Coke bottles filled with water, although they seem to be effective, that’s not the look we want.
Paint. Give your front door, trims and shutters a fresh coat of paint. Clean and maintain your gutters. Get creative with different tones and hues. The experts at paint hardware are the folks to talk to about this, and try to stick to more neutral colours that won’t date quickly. Prepare properly before painting, rather take the time to do it thoroughly, after all, you are investing here, make it worth your while both financially and visually. The driveway and the doorway are the main welcome portals to your home. And in fact, if your budget allows, there are some very interesting doors available on the market.
Lighting. Having outdoor lighting, especially if a section of your house is on the street, can add a level of security. It will also create ambience and give the impression that there is someone home. There are many solar solutions on the market so look around and see what works best for you. Driveway and patio sensors are also intelligent choices- if you don’t want to leave the lights on all night, they will switch on whenever movement is detected. They are also good for your safety should you or family come home in the dark. Fairy lights always add a touch of magic, so don’t forget them in your planning. As for loadshedding – sorry about that- always keep up to speed with your area’s schedule, and ensure a good mix of solar and mains lighting to avoid your house being in complete darkness.
Postbox. Even though the use of snail mail is almost a thing of the past, an interesting postbox can allude to the character of the owner. It might be something home-made or something from Takealot, but whatever it is you can be assured it will be remembered if it is noteworthy, and become a possible hidey hole for Easter eggs in the future.
House numbers. Here, too, there are a lot of ways to make them stand out. From wood carvings, pottery, metal, mosaic, big, small, on the ground, stenciled or painted onto a wall, or the curb next to your street name if you like. I don’t think that’s illegal; after all, the house number is not likely to change.
Features. This is where the big-ticket items come in. There are some beautiful big pots available and if you are worried about theft, filling them with sand or stone crush could be a pilfer-proofing practice. A water-feature fountain or a small wooden bridge will add intrigue. Other things like window boxes, shutters, boulders or interesting tree-stumps. Trellis. Wheelbarrows. Hanging baskets, wind chimes, the list of possibilities is endless. All you need do is to drive around and steal ideas with your eyes.
Obviously, in current times, theft and vandalism are a possibility, so when making decisions, it’s best to ensure that any big purchases are covered by household insurance as they can be costly to buy, install or replace.
That’s it for now.
As Always Happy Gardening and above all, have fun!.