by Ken Lain, the mountain gardener
Selling a home is all about a fresh-looking property. So, trim back trees and shrubs to prevent that old, overgrown look, then freshen beds with a new layer of cedar bark, and rock lawns with a few wheelbarrows of new rock. Now you are ready for the quickest and least expensive way to boost your home’s curb appeal. It can increase your sale price and reduce days on the market. Simply install some garden flowers! Garden Centers have made studies, and conducted surveys to determine the flowers that are most appealing to house hunters.
It’s fairly simple to add some colorful, fragrant plants to strategic spots in the yard. Focus on containers at the front door, decks, and patios. Flowers by the mailbox, driveways, and in raised beds help prospective buyers recall your home over the competition after hours of house-hunting.
Of course, some of these blooming additions are dependent upon the seasons, but the suggestions that follow may be saved ’til the time is right. Let’s start with the most impressive flowers of them all:
Sunflowers – Few flowers have impressed over the ages like a sunflower patch, and this summer has been no exception. Even with no other flowers around your property, these giants will leave your potential buyers with a firmly imprinted memory of your home. In addition to making a strong floral statement from a distance, you can use sunflowers to screen an unattractive utility box or air conditioning unit. It’s a given that sunflowers and the cottage garden are natural partners. Sunflowers grow in all climates, but you need to give these plants time to mature when starting from seed; giant types may take four months to flower.
Roses – There is something about roses that everyone likes, even those home buyers that wouldn’t classify themselves as gardeners. Although hybrid tea and heirloom roses are stunning with their long stemmed blooms and sweet perfume, they do require regular attention to keep the buds coming. If you’re moving soon, and want some everblooming roses that set waves of flowers with virtually no care, then look at the ‘Knock Out and Flower Carpet’ series of roses. These more modern ever-blooming rose varieties give you the most reliable flowers from spring through autumn. They are virtually disease-proof, meaning you won’t have to worry about an outbreak of unsightly mildew blighting your home that is ‘For Sale’.
Lavender – Not only will your lavender flowers woo home shoppers with their glorious scent, you can tell admirers that the blossoms are edible, lending a delicate perfume to honey and sorbet. Lavender needs little else besides full sun and well-drained soil to thrive. If your plot is damp or slightly shady, pansies can provide the same purple hues and culinary value as lavender.
Pelargoniums – Also known as geraniums, these popular bedding plants are naturals to brighten raised beds and containers on porches, patios, and pool areas. A full sun exposure with good air circulation is a must for these annuals, so if your lot is shady substitute the perennial cranesbill geranium, or possibly perennial hostas.
Fuchsias – The pendulous blooms of fuchsia flowers are sure to grab the attention of potential home buyers. Fuchsias like moderate temperatures, moist soil, and an area sheltered from wind. Without these conditions, the plants are prone to bud drop. If you aren’t sure about maintaining these divas during your home’s listing period, substitute with a trailing begonia plant. Dragon wing begonias don’t mind hot spells, and their succulent foliage won’t wilt if you miss a day or two of irrigation. Hummingbirds are simply an added benefit of these flowers, and potential home buyers always are impressed with the activity of colorful “hummers”. 10 more flowers that draw Hummingbirds.
Tulips – If you plan to put your house on the spring market, use the previous fall to plant tulips. Although tulips are a spring blooming flower, the season can be stretched over a period of several weeks by planting a selection of early, mid, and late blooming varieties.
Sweet Peas – The fragrance and twining stems of sweet peas can bring back nostalgic feelings of grandma’s garden to sentimental home buyers. If you’re past the cool spring weather that sweet peas crave, substitute fast growing nasturtiums with their impressive summer and autumn blooms.
Lilies – They look like exotic flowers, but lilies are very hardy perennials that can survive temperatures of 40 below zero. Early summer blooming Asiatics are toughest, while late blooming Oriental hybrids require less chilling time to form blooms, and will thrive in zone 9. Carefree daylilies don’t mind the relentless heat and drought of a hot summer.
Hydrangeas – To welcome house hunters to your property, plant a compact hydrangea like ‘Bombshell’ by your front door, or anchor the corner of your landscape with the large ‘Grandiflora.’ Blue varieties need acidic soil to produce blue flowers, so keep aluminum sulfate on hand if your hydrangea flowers are more pink than you’d like.
Jasmine – Loved for its sweet perfume, Arabian jasmine will thrive throughout the summer in a partly sunny spot. I’ve grown my jasmine in large pots so they can be closer to the entrance and entertainment areas of our home. Their gentle perfume lofts into our home and the immediate area surrounding them. Jasmine is not cold hardy enough at elevations of 6000+. An even hardier vining specimen, sweet autumn clematis, has similar flowers and is equally fragrant.
Free Gardening Class – Fall gardening classes have begun! Watters’ first class on October 1st is ‘Fresh Fall Containers’. Lisa Watters-Lain will share our secret tips on tricking flowers to bloom right through winter.
October 8th we host ‘Autumn Trees – Choosing, Using, and Best Planting Techniques’.
Although our classes are an enjoyable time with fellow gardeners, you don’t actually have to be at the garden center to reap the instruction. We do a live broadcast of each Saturday morning class at 9:30am on Watters Facebook Page.
Until next issue, I’ll see you at Watters Garden Center.
Ken & Lisa Lain (owners) can be found throughout the week at Watters Garden Center, 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd in Prescott, or contacted through thier web site at WattersGardenCenter.com or FB.com/WattersGardenCenter .