dallas landscaping

Thanks to Capital One for sponsoring this post.

When it comes to increasing a property’s value, beautiful, lush landscaping is a top option for homeowners. Nothing woos buyers like fabulous curb appeal and an oasis of a backyard that turns your property into paradise.

Fresh, sophisticated landscaping has the added benefit of bringing years of happiness as you live in your house. After all, Texas gets an average of 232 days of sunshine a year, meaning we spend lots of time outdoors on our patios with friends, family, kids and pets. I know my family has created wonderful memories in our backyard, with the pool as a focal point and gathering hole. From teen parties to birthdays, to letting our one-month old grandchild float in the spa, our yard has been a symbolic constant for our family’s best memories.

But quality landscaping isn’t cheap. A minimum job — adding a bed of liriope, fall color and a gravel walkway — can start at $5,000, with more extensive, sophisticated plans ringing in at $20,000 or more. With so many other financial obligations, oftentimes, that much cash isn’t readily available.

Many homeowners don’t know that they can take out a loan on their home’s equity to pay for new landscaping. It’s a super smart choice if you’re looking to sell, or simply love your home and want to enjoy it more!

Plus, the interest you pay, which is historically low today, may be tax deductible!

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Realtors know it, builders know it, sellers know it, and you can be sure buyers pay attention to it, too. Curb appeal is an essential component to selling a house. Whether viewing a house online via photos, or driving through a neighborhood, the first impression is made from the street and with the landscaping.

Of course, our friends over at Harold Leidner Landscape Architects certainly know this well. They deal in curb appeal by designing and creating some of the most distinctive properties in the Dallas area. As an example, here are a few of their projects that are on the market now and certainly have the “Wow!” factor upon arrival. 

Jump for some fabulous examples of perfectly executed curb appeal!

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HLC Freeze Protection

With the Thanksgiving holiday hitting this week and the cold weather officially upon us, it’s time to keep an eye out on protecting your plants from the freezing temperatures. We’ve asked noted landscape architect, Harold Leidner, to provide some insight and suggestions for protecting those plants from the cold temperatures.

Freeze Protection Methods

One of the essential freeze protection items that we install on all our projects is a rain and freeze sensor on the irrigation system. This sensor (which can be hard wired or wireless) activates once the temperature drops below 40 degrees and prevents the irrigation system from operating in cold temperatures and adding any water to the plants that may cause damage.

HLC Temperature detector

 

Another primary method of protection those plans is to use a frost protection fabric or freeze cloth over the top of the plants. This fabric, which can usually be found at any nursery or home improvement store, will help wick water away from the plants, provide an additional layer of protection and help prevent any ice from forming on the plants.

We typically use short wood stakes to ‘tent’ the frost cloth above the plants and also use landscape pins to anchor the fabric down so windy conditions don’t blow it away. If the cold temps sneak up on you and you’re in a pinch, a good old bed sheet will work as well. (Just don’t use the nice ones!)

Plants That Need Protection

Most plant varieties sold at nurseries and used in the Dallas area will be cold hardy for the climate. However, there are certain varieties of plants, usually tropicals, that will need a little extra protection.

Palms are one of the primary plants that we take care to protect from cold temperatures. Sago palms (Cycas revoluta) certainly are fragile to the cold and will need to be covered. Windmill Palms (Trachycarpus fortunei) are generally cold hardy, but the trunks can be wrapped with a blanket or frost protection cloth. Other plants that are susceptible to freezing are Oleander (Nerium oleander), Variegated Ginger (Alpina vittata) and the vine Fig Ivy (Ficus pumila). All of which could benefit from the protection of a freeze cloth.

We find annuals to be optional but some of our clients prefer that we also cover their newly planted winter seasonal color like Pansies and Cyclamen. Any containers or potted plants that are not connected to irrigation or drainage, we would suggest simply moving them into the garage to weather the frigid night time temperatures.

Miss those 100 degree days yet?

Need help preparing for freezing weather? Contact the talented staff at Harold Leidner Landscape Architects to guide you.

In offices and homes for sale, one of my biggest pet peeves is fake houseplants. I loathe them! Most fake plants look plastic-y and ridiculous, and serve zero function in a home. And considering that there are TONS of easy-to-care-for (read: hard-to-kill) houseplant varieties, there’s absolutely zero reason to use fake ones.

If you’re considering buying a fake ficus to add some green to a room, consider a real one instead! Want to add some depth and texture to a house? Consider a golden pothos vine! Not only do plants add to the look and feel of a room, but some studies show that bringing in a few plants can literally clear the air by filtering out formaldehyde and airborne pathogens!

Need some inspiration? Check out these photos from Houzz.com and find the perfect houseplant for your home today!

A golden pothos is a classic houseplant that is easy to care for and leaves beautiful trailing tendrils. In this photo, the ivy hangs in a bathroom window, adding the aspect of a privacy screen, too!

The little black dress of houseplants, snake plant goes with any decor, in any room, and can survive pretty much any living situation. It needs very little water, especially in winter, and can be divided into more plants.

Want to add some drama? There’s nothing more dramatic than a healthy indoor canopy of ficus trees. This houseplant is one of the most common office plants, and is widely faked. Don’t go plastic when you can get a real one that can decrease airborne pathogens by up to 30 percent!

Ferns are great indoor plants that don’t require too much care, but they’re not exactly my favorite. They can do without direct sunlight, but if you neglect them too much, they can shed a lot of leaves very quickly, resulting in a lot of debris on the floor. Still, they’re a great option for hanging containers or small planters.

Spider plants (also called airplane plants) are great for hanging containers. They have a really cool growth habit of popping down baby plants that give the effect of spiders hanging from a thread. Here is an example of a planter over a staircase landing, but you could get this same effect by hanging a plant from the ceiling near a staircase or in a corner.

I make a lot of decisions on homes by how they look just as I drive by. Weeds in the yard? Nope! Awful paint? Eek! Mis-matched garage door? I’m outta here!

I’m not at all unlike most buyers out there, too. Major front yard faux pas can turn off potential buyers faster than bad breath on a first date! So how do you keep your home competitive in a fast-paced market such as Dallas?

Houzz, that gorgeous interior design bookmarking service, has just the thing.

Even if you are not planning to sell your home anytime soon, a fresh and welcoming exterior is a wonderful thing to come home to each day,” says Houzz contributor Laura Gaskill. “From front doors, house numbers and porch furnishings to color schemes, landscaping and basic repairs, this smorgasbord of ideas will hopefully inspire a few changes around your own home.”

Really, a lot of these ideas are no-brainers that we’ve talked about before, such as giving your front door a distinctive coat of fresh paint. Of course, be mindful of what that color says about you.

Cool tips include adding fresh, bold house numbers and clean front-porch furniture to round out a look, and adding more flowers — and perhaps replacing the front lawn with flowers. Of course, check with your HOA or historic district before you rip out your lawn and add native plants.

Check out the whole list and some of the gorgeous photos on Houzz.com.