The water feature at the home of David and Mary Davison provides a peaceful area to enjoy the outdoors.

Whether it’s time to give the place a little more pizzaz and curb appeal before selling, give the outside of the house a facelift or just a little work to make an enjoyable and attractive sitting area for those who live in the house, landscaping can be just the thing.

From a little investment to mega thousands of dollars, planting shrubs, flowers, adding a stone walkway or a water feature can give your house just the boost it needs.

It’s like a fresh coat of paint for the outdoors. If you are planning to sell your home, it’s imperative to make a good first impression. When people drive by to take a look, a nice lawn, neatly-kept shrubs and bushes or nicely-edged areas of flowers can make buyers take a second look.

“Landscaping can increase the interest people will have in looking at your home,” Emily Mehl, broker for United Country in Stockton, said. Mehl stressed that for a home for sale, curb appeal catches people’s attention and makes them want to come in to explore the inside of the home.

“If your place looks good on the outside, it tells buyers you have a pride of ownership which conveys your home is well taken care of and buyers are interested in how well a home has been maintained,” she said. “It shows the sellers you care about your home and paints a picture the home as well taken care of, all around.”

Carson Hayward, Carson’s Landscaping in Stockton, said homeowners can add to their home’s appeal by doing the work themselves or with the help of a professional landscaper.

Hayward can produce a landscaping design for as little as $75. Homeowners then can purchase the plants and provide their own sweat equity to ensure the project fits the family budget or can hire a professional.

Hayward, a degreed horticulturist, has an eye for what best suits the property’s needs. If the yard is steeply inclined, he might recommend retaining walls with plantings and shrubs or just plantings to ease erosion problems.

If the home already has a plain concrete retaining wall, planting shrubs of various types and colors and flowers to hide the plainess of the wall will give the homeowner a more pleasant view.

“A lot of people like to do landscaped areas because it can cut down on the amount of mowing,” Hayward said. “If that’s what you’re going for, keep the curved lines of the landscaped areas to a minimum, so it’s easier to trim along."

Professional landscapers will guide homeowners through the process of deciding what types of plants meet their objectives. For example, is this strictly a visual project or a garden to attract butterflies or hummingbirds?

Make sure you have something of interest for each season. Evergreens give color year around and some much needed life during dreary winter days, while a burning bush is green in the summer, but turns a brilliant red in the fall.

Combine those shrubs with some beautiful yellow or lavender mums in the fall and you will have created visual oasis. Plant trees, not only for their aesthetic value, but to provide shade in the summer to cut down on electrical bills.

Whether the space is large or small, landscaping is an extension of your home and a way to enjoy and show your property to its fullest.

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