Our landscape architect, Adam, led a landscaping and property improvement workshop for the Windham and Windsor Housing Trust homeownership program a few days ago. The program educates buyers and new homeowners about maintaining and improving their properties. Adam covered low-cost options for site improvements, including choosing and maintaining plants, building walkways and parking areas, creating patios and outdoor “rooms,” and providing adequate drainage to protect a home’s foundation and basement, as well as its landscaping.
Adam has a couple of tips for improving your home’s landscaping, but says that the single most important thing you can do is take care of your site. “A landscape looks ten times better if you’ve taken care of it,” he says. “You shouldn’t be afraid to try something—just make sure you do some basic maintenance, and it will probably turn out fine.”
He recommends using pathways and plantings to create spaces, or zones, which makes taking care of the yard easier. You can attack one zone at a time, and group plants with similar watering and light needs together.
For those on a budget, the Natural Resources Conservation Service is a very good source for plants—their annual plant sale allows homeowners to purchase good-quality plants at low prices. And the University of Vermont Extension offers expertise and advising on landscaping and other site matters.