Adding Curb Appeal with Pavers and Plants

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If you live in a residential neighborhood and have a home with a front yard, chances are you have some sort of walkway to the front or side door.

Whether it is a no-nonsense straight walkway, or a casual, winding garden path, it serves as your home's "first impression". Check out these tips if your home could use a little curb appeal.

Pavers, a Classic Choice

If you are installing a new walkway, consider walkway pavers. Pavers come in a large variety colors and sizes that enable anyone to get a look and feel that complements their home's style. Go for a one-of-kind look.

Pavers can be mixed and matched so you can create all kinds of interesting designs. Try using pavers that come in blended colors to add interest and dimension to the path. The complementary soldier border in this landscape design (see right image) is decorative and serves to widen the path. By adding curbstone against the flower beds they further defined the path, and it also helps to prevent weeds and mulch from encroaching onto the walkway.  

Even homeowners with poured concrete walkways that are still in good condition (and don't warrant replacement yet) can add curb appeal by simply installing a row of brick pavers on either side of the path. This is a project that motivated do-it-yourselfers can tackle by themselves over a weekend.

curb appealSoftening the Edges

This is one landscape design that really needs to take functionality into account. Typically, most homeowners opt for low-growing plants to line walkways. Imagine trying to maneuver up a standard walkway lined tall hedges while carrying a large package or say… moving a couch.
Like other flower or plants beds, you'll need determine your plant zone, sun exposure, water and maintenance needs (time or expense) when choosing your flowers or plants. Here's a list of some popular perennial choices for walkways to get you started:

  • Perennial Herbs such Thyme and Sage.  These perfume the air, are beautiful to look, andcan be used in recipes from soup tosoap.
  • Astilbes love the sun but will tolerate the shade. These long-blooming perennials have plume-like flowers in shades of white, pink and red.
  • Hostas are great for shady paths. Be careful to plant them back far enough so that when they are fully mature they don't block the walkway.
  • Sedum. With over 400 different species and varieties that from 5 inches to 25 inches in height you can line you entire walkway with these hardy perennials. These plants are low maintenance,drought tolerant, and can grow in either full sun to partial shade. All that, and butterflies love them too.
  • curb appealCreeping Juniper is a hardy ground cover and vigorous grower. Often used to cover property that slopes, these work well on walkways that have steps to and differing levels.

Remember, the walkway to your home is not just a path to the front door, it really tells visitors what to expect inside the home as well. So make sure that your landscape design not only adds curb appeal, but that it reflects your sense of style and is uniquely yours.