Parker County Today May 2017 - Page 89

Quick Tips for Curb Appeal By Terri Lynn Stokes, Parker County Master Gardener and Broker, Terin Realty U pdating your home’s landscap- ing is a great way to add value and welcome spring, whether you are planning to sell your home or just want to enjoy your outdoor spaces more. Consider these tips to enhance your property: • Decide what you want to accom- plish. Do you need a pop of color, added structure, or are you trying to attract birds and butterflies? Do you prefer to spend time puttering in the garden to relax, or are you looking for something low mainte- nance? Are you planning to put your house on the market, or are you choosing strictly for your own enjoy- ment? Many plants will fill a variety of needs, but you may need to priori- tize. • Aim for visual harmony between the house and your landscape. • Get inspiration: the Parker County Master Gardeners (PCMGA) help maintain seven community gardens throughout the county and have designed most of them. These gardens are open to the public and will not only help you find new plants to love, they will show you what the plants you’re consider- ing will look like when they are full grown, and how they will appear in a landscape. • Define the borders of your gardens and paths. Create inviting pathways to lead visitors to your home and to focal spots. Try Texas Superstar plants, Earth-Kind Roses, and Native Texas Plants. These are some of the best performing plants for Texas, as well as some of the most beautiful. • Add container plants for a pop of color and to create interest or detail. Container plants can also be used to fill in bare spots and to include accent plants with different soil requirements. • Use window boxes to add appeal and color to a lackluster facade. • Consider designing with drought tolerant species for easy maintenance. There are many beautiful plants with various colors and textures that adapt well to Parker County and have minimal water and care requirements. • Remember to add seating so that you can savor the fruits of your labor. Taking these steps will help your home sell more quickly and, often, for more money. On the other hand, it may tempt you to stick around and enjoy your results this summer and for years to come! Resources and References: Texas Superstars:, EarthKind Roses: Texas SmartScape:, Texas Master Gardener Association:, Parker County Master Gardeners: Terri Lynn Stokes Broker, GRI, MCNE 817-613-1010 • Power wash the exterior of the house. • Choose plants proven to be successful in Parker County — they will be much more likely to thrive. See the PCMGA website ( or the demonstration gardens for ideas regarding superior species for our area. Books on the subject might also be helpful: two good ones for plant selection are “Easy Gardens for North Central Texas,” by Steve Huddleston and Pamela Crawford, and “The Real Dirt,” available at the Extension office.  • Do some ‘housekeeping’ outside. Remove clutter — from broken pots to branches. Tidy up the flower beds, remove fallen debris, and weed where needed. Prune unruly shrubs and tree branches. • Choose permanent plants based on the environment in which they will be placed. Consider the plant’s light, water, soil and space needs and plant appropriately. No matter how much you love a particular plant, if it is planted in an area that is wrong for its needs, it may disappoint. 87