It’s really not surprising when you think about it: green spaces are attractive and calming. But, have you ever thought about how the visual perception we get from businesses, neighborhoods and work areas affect us economically?
Of course we know attractive, well maintained landscaping will help with the sale of your home, but did you know that studies show shoppers are more likely to frequent stores with greenery and flowers? Not only that, they will often pay more for the goods sold in those stores.
Neighborhood (even older, more established ones) property values can benefit from green spaces and attractive landscaping. Studies show that workers are more productive when they have an outside view of plants and green spaces. They experience less stress and report fewer headaches than workers without a view of the outdoors.
A more immediate economic benefit from green space is the cooling effect plants and trees planted correctly can have on your energy bill.
There are many benefits to keeping our spaces green and well maintained. It’s just better for us mentally, physically and economically.
Butterflies, bees and birds are welcome additions to any garden, and choosing plants to attract wildlife is easier than you think!
In the Southeast there are many trees, shrubs and flowering perennials that serve as food for deer, birds and other wildlife. It’s a good idea to put the most desirable food plants at the back of your garden so that the “look” of your garden is maintained when the animals feed in your garden.
Black Tupelo, Willow Oak and Sweet Magnolia are good trees for attracting and providing food for wildlife. American Elderberry is a widespread shrub that attracts birds and mammals that feed on its berries.
The Sweet Pepperbush is a native plant of the Southeast that’s white flowers attract butterflies in the Summer. Another good plant for attracting butterflies and feeding caterpillars is the Climbing Aster. Bee Balm has beautiful scarlet flowers, grows in full sun and attracts a wide variety of butterflies. Black-eyed Susan, Purple Coneflower, Butterfly Bush and Cotoneaster are a few other perennials popular with bees and butterflies.
Hummingbirds like Azaleas, Honeysuckle, and Weigela.
There are many more plant species to choose from if you want your landscape to become an oasis of movement. Just take into consideration sun exposure, how big your space is and what kind of wildlife you want to attract when you plan.
Drainage issues in your yard can be unsightly, but can also lead to many other problems. Erosion, turf disease and insect infestation also result from poor drainage and standing water.
Many homeowners here in the Midlands first became aware of drainage problems in their yards during the flood of 2015. Correcting these problems now can prevent more damage as the seasons change from spring and summer.
A French drain is one solution to consider. This redirects the water and distributes it to other areas for drainage. Standing water problems can also be managed with berms, underground wells, rain gardens or ponds. Adding soil amendments to compacted or clay soil is another way to improve drainage and growing conditions for your lawn.
A well thought out landscape plan will minimize potential problems caused by changes in the weather and provide your family with a beautiful outdoor living space to enjoy.