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9 Low-Cost, High-Impact Landscaping Tips

Curb appeal matters, especially when it comes to selling your home. It can mean the difference between a fast, profitable sale and one that drags out for months or even loses you money.

Your curb appeal can also impact your property value, your overall pride in the home, and your status with the HOA.

Fortunately, excellent curb appeal doesn’t have to cost a fortune. If your home’s lacking in exterior beauty, there are plenty of ways to improve its look without breaking the bank.

Here are nine ideas to get you started:

Outline your gardens and beds.

Make your garden and landscaping beds pop by outlining them with stones, pavers, rocks, or plain bricks or gravel. It’s a nice way to add definition and contrast to your yard without putting in too much work or cash.

Another nice benefit? It reduces the amount of edging, weeding, and maintenance you need to do, too.

Let there be light.

A little carefully placed lighting can make a huge difference in your garden, around your trees, or even just facing more appealing areas of your house. You can opt for small solar stake lights, which charge each day in the sun, or spotlights can be a right choice, too.

You might even consider glow-in-the-dark rocks or gravel for outlining your beds or on walkways.

Decorate with planters and container gardens.

If you’re really looking for a quick and simple fix, go buy a few inexpensive potted plants and flowers, and use them to line your walkways or front steps (or just scatter them throughout your garden beds).

You can also use a repurposed barrel or hollowed-out tree stump to create a container garden. Fill it with a variety of plants that vary in height, texture, and color to really make an impact.

Dress up your tree beds.

Trees look great themselves, but they have a tendency to kill off the grass beneath them. In some cases, they might even produce huge, unsightly above-ground roots.

If this is the case with yours, create small, circular garden beds around the base of the tree and plant shade-friendly groundcover — things like lilyturf, leadwort, and sweet woodruff. These all tend to thrive in heavily shaded areas.

Install a small water feature.

Don’t go adding a pool or anything extravagant (that certainly wouldn’t be budget-friendly), but smaller water features? Those can make a big difference, too.

Consider adding a small koi pond, or turn a downspout into a makeshift waterfall by stacking flat, decorative rocks underneath. If you’re in a particularly rainy area, this can be even more impactful.

Pave the way.

Use pavers to add a walkway from the sidewalk to your front porch or around and through the garden. It will keep guests from trampling your grass, while also adding visual interest.

If you choose a lighter-colored paver, it can also add more contrast.

Add a window box.

Don’t want to plant a whole garden? Consider adding a small window box instead. They’re easy to install, very budget-friendly, and you can easily change out your flowers (or even succulents) just by opening the window.

They look great when paired with a freshly painted pair of shutters.

Try a trellis.

Prop up a trellis along a wall, up on your patio, or even under your mailbox, and invest in an affordable and fast-climbing plant, like wisteria.

Climbing hydrangeas, ivy, jasmine, and clematis are also great options, too.

Switch to a darker mulch.

If you’re in a pinch for time, sometimes just adding in a new layer of darkly colored mulch can make all the difference. It can cover up unsightly weeds, add volume to your gardens, and help flowers and other plants stand out better.

Best of all? It only takes a few minutes and a little yard work to make a major impact.

A quick warning

If you’re in a community with an HOA, make sure you get any major front yard additions pre-approved first. Many HOAs have lengthy application processes if you want to change or update an exterior feature.

If you fail to comply with these rules, you could be fined or face other penalties.