We are so blessed with perfect weather for gardening in San Diego. We are also one of the few areas that can grow plants, flowers and trees in all Sunset Zones except the coldest climates.
I have been working in my garden this weekend, trying to win it back from the weeds, and it made we think about what my front garden says about my home. As a real estate agent I look at front yards from the curb appeal prospective. Does the front garden make a great impression or does it detract?
I am sure that even if you aren’t planning to sell your home, your neighbors appreciate the time you take to make your front yard look great. Just drive down any street in any neighborhood and you will find a house or two where the owners just don’t care and you will see how that reflects on the entire neighborhood.
Is it expensive?
So now that we agree that a nice front yard helps the entire neighborhood, how do you get one? The nicest thing about a nice front yard is that you can do all if it yourself. You can hire professionals to help with design ideas and installation of some of the bigger items, but the basics can all be done by you.
I have seen pretty front yards with lots of green grass, a simple tree and a few flower beds with seasonal flowers. I have also seen pretty front yards with cement porch areas, open covers, containers and hanging baskets. Both of these can look great and both fit very different life styles.
Where do I get ideas?
Take a drive through a neighborhood that appeals to you. Better yet take a walk through the same neighborhood. Take a moment at each home to decide what appeals to you. Write all this stuff down. Take pictures of the garden with your smart phone. Then go home and look at your front yard to see where you can make changes to bring those good ideas in to it.
Do some research on plants for your area. You have gotten some photos of plants that will work when you did your neighborhood walk. Check out Sunset Gardening for more information about your growing zone, http://www.sunset.com/magazine/. Also check for free sites that offer gardening planning tips http://www.bhg.com/gardening/.
You will need to figure out just how much money you have to spend on your new garden. Include the cost of the immediate needs like plants, soil amendments, tools and mulch. But don’t forget to figure the ongoing costs of things like maintenance and water. Lots of grass looks great but water is very expensive in San Diego and all that grass can add a lot to your monthly water bill. A nice cement porch can offer a pretty picture and a nice place to enjoy the outdoors but the initial investment can be expensive. If your budget is limited, see if you can implement your plan in stages as more money becomes available.
Head to your local nursery or home improvement store. The people there have great ideas and can help you make your dreams come true. Ask about referrals to local gardening contractors if you think you need help with the bigger stuff.
Just like any home improvement project, you need to take your time to make sure you will be happy with the final result. Once you are done with the project you will have a garden in San Diego that will reflect your personality to everyone.