Sweet Street Appeal
Creating a stunning entrance will add value and pride to your home. Alison Smith provides some sage advice.
Whether you intend to sell your home or just want to feel welcome when you pull into your driveway, increasing the street appeal for your home will increase your property’s value and your own personal pride.
There’s no doubt a stylish fence or well-kept garden bed will go a long way to creating a positive first impression, but if you really want to go one up on your neighbours, a feature tree will make them green with envy.
Just like a work of art, this investment is for the future and there are some things to consider. To begin with, the larger the tree, the more it will cost, however bigger the impact will be.
The shape of the tree also needs to be considered according to the space it is going to fill. Do you want it to spread out and create a large shady canopy that the kids can play under like a Poinciana or Jacaranda?
These fast-growing trees bloom in spring or summer with bell-shaped flowers covering the canopy and producing a stunning carpet as the flowers drop.
As spectacular as they are in all their colourful canopy glory, neither of these options are suitable for small spaces.
Perhaps you need something a little more compact than can help to provide some privacy for your front windows from a busy street?
Magnolia ‘Little Gem’, with its stunning large, dark green glossy leaves and contrasting dark orange underside, spring into a spectacular showpiece during the winter months when it produces a stunning display of large creamy-white flowers that are loved by bees.
Nothing says tropical garden or an at-home-Balinese escape like a Frangipani. With their gorgeous blossoms and unmistakable fragrance, a frangipani is an ideal tree for the coastal garden.
Being deciduous and if planted in the right location, you can enjoy the shade and fragrance of a frangipani in summer and allow them to soak in sunlight during winter. Planting frangipanis into matching pots on each side of the front entrance will create a warm, welcoming and tropical island feel.
Buckinghamia ‘Ivory Curl’ have a dense umbrella shape with glossy green foliage. They can be planted as a feature tree or mass planted for privacy. The trees develop into a nice shape with little pruning but can also be pruned heavily to limit their size.
Sometimes you want a tree which has a great structure and shape all by itself. If it isn’t necessary for the tree to create privacy or shade, consider Pandanus, Bismark Palms, Tree Aloe or even a Queensland Bottle Tree. These varieties can really make a statement and create an eye-catching feature at the front of your home.
Pandanus provide instant impact to your garden and are perfectly suited to coastal gardens, but are more commonly associated with our beautiful coastline.
The prehistoric look and aerial root system make this tree a curious and fascinating feature specimen.
Remember to consider the mature size of your feature tree – as you don’t want to create more problems down the track. Generally the larger the tree will grow, the larger the root system. And with larger canopy trees – this can mean a wider root system as well.
Don’t forget to tidy up your existing garden beds. Prune overgrown plants, pull weeds and plant some flowering flora to add instant colour. Adding mulch helps to lift any garden bed and gives your plants a boost.
If you’ve got a garden path, implement outdoor lighting for safety, security and mood. Highlight feature trees or the house or simply illuminate the front path.
And don’t forget about the lawn. This takes time; feed your grass, treat any weeds and give it some time to grow into a lush lawn. When it comes time to mow, make sure you check your footpath and maybe even tidy up your neighbour’s patch.
Whatever elements you are considering, it’s important to chat to your local garden centre or landscape specialist to make sure it’s the right tree for your garden conditions and lifestyle.