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Category:  Gardening

Beyond Beauty

The Benefits of Landscaping

By Carrie P. Williams

Many people, perhaps including you, would love to renovate their landscape, but they just can't justify putting the time, effort, and money into it right now. After all, it's only contribution to your property would be visual interest, right? Maybe first you will get that new pool installed, and next year you'll find the time for your landscape. Unlike a landscape, you can use a pool. What other benefits does a landscape have to offer anyway?

Hold off on that pool idea for just a minute. Perhaps surprisingly, landscaping your property can be a benefit for you in many ways. Yes, everyone knows that landscaping your yard will make it 'look pretty,' but less people know of the ways in which landscaping can actually increase the value, usability, and aesthetics of your home.

In an article from Money magazine (April 1986), the value of a landscape is discussed. A landscaped property can increase the value of your home from 100 to 200 percent "if it is well done and harmonizes with foliage nearby." They compare this to the added value of other popular home improvements, such as a kitchen renovation (75-125%), bathroom renovation (80-120%), adding a new deck or patio (40-70%), and the addition of a swimming pool (20-50%). If you believe you might sell your home in the future, creating an attractive landscape will significantly add to your home's value. If you are quite content with your neighborhood and house, read on: there are other benefits of landscaping.

A landscape provides a very functional role in that it can increase the usability of your property. A carefully planned and landscaped yard can double or triple the square footage of living space through the creation of outdoor rooms. By creating different areas for cooking, dining, recreation, and relaxation, you have more living options than if you relied on the inside of your house alone.

Don't forget about those trees; they can add quite a lot to your landscape. If placed properly, trees can help you save up to 25% on heating and cooling costs by keeping your climate system running more efficiently. They also provide shelter from wind, rain, and the hot summer sun. Along with these benefits, planting a nice tree will look marvelous as well.

And now we come to the most well-known benefit of landscaping: if planned out well, landscaping will increase the aesthetic quality of your property. A nice assortment of trees and shrubs help your home to blend into the surrounding environment, and thus it becomes more visually pleasing. With the addition of annuals and perennials, color and visual contrast is added to the landscape. With a quality landscape that is well-maintained, you will feel good to know it has been shown that an attractive property will reflect positively on it's owner.

Whether you want to increase the value, the usability, or the aesthetic quality of your home, installing a superior landscape will do the trick on all counts. If you are thinking about expanding your kitchen area for more dining room, refurbishing your bathroom so the house has a better chance to sell, or building a tall fence to block the view of the neighbors, try fixing these problems with your landscape instead. You could come out a winner on all counts.

Carrie P. Williams is a professional landscape designer with Turf Tamer, Inc. She has written many informative landscaping articles for Turf Tamer's Tip of the Week program.


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Category:  Gardening

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