California is one of the best states in the country to live, and that’s why the real estate market is so hot. Even though it’s been a seller’s market for years, a few tweaks to the outside can always help bring in the offers. Here are six landscaping trends that can increase the value of your home.
You want the latest trend, but you don’t want to go crazy. Gravel landscaping is super trendy and inexpensive. An added bonus in Northern California? It conserves water. You can choose to border your driveway with gravel or plot out your whole yard in pebbles that bring a Zen feeling to your property. There’s no limit to the possibilities, and it’s a smart alternative to grass if you don’t want to mow a lawn.
Container gardens can give your yard a charming cottage appeal, and the possibilities are endless. The most pleasing container gardens feature pots or planters of different sizes that complement each other in color. Choose a theme, such as succulents or herbs, and you can arrange and rearrange your garden on a whim.
Transform your landscaping from decoration to meditation. The science is there: meditation has proven health benefits. You can create a space for quiet reflection and contemplation in your own yard. You’ll update the appearance of your property, and create balance and calm in your own life. You can create a sense of separation from the rest of the landscape with a small pavilion, or even just a different surface — and a water feature. The sound of water can help promote a feeling of tranquility in your meditation garden.
The right plants will bring butterflies and honey bees into your yard. Native plants such as butterfly bush, heliotrope, and sage are some of the plants that attract butterflies to your garden. Honey bees love the California poppy, asters, and lavender. Both butterflies and bees are a good measurement of the health of the ecosystem — so you’re not just planting flower beds, you’re helping Nature. Since they evolved naturally in Northern California, native plants are low maintenance and drought tolerant. The hairy honeysuckle — never mind the funny name — has sweet-smelling, deep pink blooms. Showy milkweed erupts in balls of white and pink star-shaped flowers. Those are just some examples of plants native to Contra Costa and surrounding counties. Even better, there is the Native Here Nursery run by volunteers with the California Native Plant Society. You can buy native plants, get expert advice on how to care for them and know your money is going to conservation efforts.
A stone terrace. A wooden deck. A tiled patio. All of these are examples of hardscaping, and while they’re probably the priciest of these six trends, they’re also the lowest maintenance. It’s also a great location for an outdoor kitchen or even just a grouping of outdoor furniture where friends and family can gather and play.
Nothing adds to a summer garden party quite like a fire pit. They’re great for lighting up the backyard and providing heat on those cooler nights. Fire pits create an outdoor focal point which attracts guests. They also extend the use of your patio year-round. You can choose an inexpensive option or a more elaborate one to match your decor.
Want more info on some of the biggest home trends in the Bay Area? Check out our other blog posts for tips and ideas from landscaping to accepting a buyer’s offer.
Our guest contributor, Olive Dawson, is a gardening and landscape design writer and environmentalist. She is always searching for new ways to reduce waste and grow food organically. She is most proud of her homemade beauty products.