Fall and winter home curb appeal

Published 3:57 pm Friday, November 19, 2021

Yards to Paradise  

by Max Phelps

Missing tree leaves, browning lawn grasses, weeping tree limbs, and butchered perennials and shrubbery, or even trees, can give your home a sad look between now and springtime. Stained driveways, mildewed or molded or cracked siding, missing shingles and numerous other problems or imperfections are more easily observed in fall and winter. Leafless weeping trees can make a place look even more forlorn.

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   So, how can you take a few simple measures and improve the appearance of your home? (This is all the more important if you’re considering selling your place—have it looking its best.)


   Taking a day off and renting a pressure washer is a quick chore that gives quick results. Green or black stains on siding, decks, patios, etc., can look sharper for a day of effort and maybe $100 equipment rental.


   Cut or remove broken, dead, limbs on shrubs and trees. But, be slow to give the flowers and grasses and shrubs  the annual haircut—much better done in late winter for several reasons, including the appearance that isn’t going to grow back for several months during the cold season. Berries and seed heads are better for birds than a feeder.

Dead grasses loaded down with snow are attractive features. Not to mention rots can get into tree limbs cut in the fall, whereas they would heal quickly if cut in spring.


   Droopy willows, cherries, apples, and the like can make a bleak colorless yard appear even sadder. Try to avoid these, especially near the front door of a home.


   Repair the broken step, railing or missing shingle. Perhaps paint a drab door or trim. And if you’ve not cleaned the gutters since you bought your place, get a ladder or call an expert before you forget it. It may be out of mind when spring comes and leaves and flowers are getting our attention, so it can help to fix things in fall or winter.


   Greenery typically makes a place look good. So, a wreath on the door or any other number of decorations can elevate the look of your place. But, long term, planting trees and shrubs that are easy to care for and stay green all year is a smart course of action to take.  And fall is a wonderful time to plant trees and larger shrubs.


   New fencing, some new seating, a firepit, and any number of small accessories can brighten a home’s appeal in the leafless season. (I don’t recommend extensive seasonal decorations—and if you feel you must, then at least remove them in a timely way following the special occasion.)


   Boulders, logs, large stumps can be used as assets in the yard if you can’t or chose not to haul them away. A haphazard pile in the front yard isn’t attractive, but you might get away with it out back. 


   Raised planting areas, or installing edging and adding some dirt and fresh mulch to the flower/shrub beds and foundation plantings can be a quick procedure to get your place looking sharper.


   Adding some storage, a greenhouse, planting some trees, these are just a start in listing things that might give your place some fresh appeal in a hurry.


   Hoping you found an idea or two to implement and make your place look a bit more chipper.


The author is a landscper. Feedback and questions: (606) 416-3911 or rockcastles@gmail.com