The plants, structures and other features you place on your property impact more than just the appearance of your home. Understanding how landscaping affects you and your surroundings helps determine a direction for planning your outdoor space. You can get maximum return from your investment while minimizing negative effects on your family and the environment.
Landscaping can increase a property’s value by making it more attractive. A well-manicured property with appealing landscaping is often a selling point for a home. The landscaping can also improve your home’s appearance to match similar homes in the neighborhood. In addition to the monetary value, many homeowners feel a sense of pride and enjoyment in a home that is nicely landscaped.
Landscaping a yard requires an upfront financial investment that ranges from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars depending on how you landscape. Handling the work yourself saves on labor costs, but installing items like water features or patios is labor-intensive and requires precision to get a professional look. You also have to research plants to determine where to place them and how to care for them. Even after the initial investment, homeowners incur upkeep costs including watering, replacing plants, sealing wood decks and buying chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers.
Time and Effort
Like the costs associated with landscaping, time and effort is required both when you initially landscape and continually with maintenance. Caring for plants in the landscape requires irrigation, weeding, managing pests, fertilizing, pruning and harvesting produce. The plants need continuous care throughout the growing season so you may have to ask a neighbor or hire a company to care for the plants when you are gone. Patios, decks and fences require occasional cleaning, repairs and painting to maintain them.
The environmental impact of landscaping varies and can be either negative or positive. Incorporating the natural habitat into your landscaping or planting native plants protects the environment. These plants require less water and care since they grow naturally in the climate. Exotic plants often require more care and irrigation, increasing costs and using extra resources. Some non-native plants are considered invasive and can overtake the area, damaging local plants and animals. Excessive use of chemicals in landscaping can pollute the groundwater.
Landscaping your property allows you to make better use of the land. The plants you grow and structures you install help define the space for various uses. For example, a patio creates a functional area designed for entertaining or dining outdoors. A raised bed provides an area for growing vegetables or planting flowers to improve the look of the home. Planned landscaping can also reduce energy costs inside the home. Trees, shrubs and other plants that shade the building or the outdoor air conditioning unit can reduce the need to run the air conditioner, while a windbreak of trees eases cold winds in the winter so you don’t need to run the heating system as much.