A building’s appearance says a lot about the people who live in it. Just like homeowners who take pride in their lawns and gardens, apartment residents want to feel proud of their surroundings too.
Beyond pride of ownership, landscaping is a simple, cost-effective way to generate curb appeal and boost interest from prospective renters. Carrying a building’s decor theme or colour palette into public areas can draw in visitors and residents alike by creating a feeling of comfort and continuity.
With spring in the air, now is the perfect time to consider landscaping plans for the whole year.
Planting seasonally, in garden beds and containers, is an easy and relatively inexpensive step toward beautifying a property. There are many different sizes and styles of containers available for exterior planting. Styles range from the classic urn to modern cubes. Many different colours and materials are also available, from lightweight resin to concrete and iron.
To increase curb appeal, choose containers that reflect the theme or decor of the building and then plant them with flowers and other material that complement the building’s interior decor and exterior colour scheme. Containers, planted four times per year (in early and late spring, fall and winter), can accent a front entrance, invite guests and residents into a public space or express holiday spirit.
Long blooming annuals
Different types of long blooming annuals planted in garden beds in spring and early fall can brighten an entryway, or create interest in a large expanse of lawn or in front of an existing shrub border.
Annuals can be mixed with existing perennials, shrubs and evergreens to enhance a garden. By nature, annuals are longer blooming than perennials or flowering shrubs. They are relatively inexpensive to buy and plant, however, they only last one season.
An early spring planting brings the first hit of colour to the outdoors and offers a taste of things to come. Arrangements can include early flowering annuals, bulbs and shrubs in flower – for example, pansies, azaleas and tulips. Twigs such as pussy willow can create height and add colour and texture to the arrangement. Ivy trailing over the side of a container softens the edges and completes the look. When weather permits, early spring arrangements should be planted by Easter.
Late spring arrangements, planted in late May or early June, in garden beds and containers make use of colourful annuals like impatiens, begonias, million bells and lobelia. Texture and additional colour can come from tropical plants like wandering jew and spider plant, and other annuals like coleus and sweet potato vine. Height, created using flowering vines or taller tropical plants like palms as a centerpiece, is a key component of each arrangement.
The colour in fall arrangements, planted in time for Thanksgiving, can come from chrysanthemums, asters and other late blooming flowers. Grasses are often used for height. Additional colour and texture can come from cabbages and kales, which look wonderful when tipped with frost. Small gourds often complete a fall arrangement.
Winter container arrangements, planted in late November, bring holiday wishes or just a hint of colour on a drab winter day. Colourful twigs, painted or natural, enhance evergreen arrangements. Blue spruce, red berries, rose hips, pine cones and dried hydrangeas add more colour. Seasonal ornaments and ribbon add a touch of holiday cheer.
The garden helper
Landscaping companies design and install seasonal containers and garden arrangements to beautify properties and complement existing decor. They will help select planting containers, if necessary, and can design garden beds where none exist. They will also evaluate the soil conditions before planting to ensure arrangements will get the necessary nutrients from the soil to grow lush and beautiful. Some even offer fertilization programs to promote growth.
Nancy Collins is a landscape designer at Landcare. She has been designing beautiful landscapes for Landcare since 2007.