All Things Real Estate: Have you done your plantings yet?

Philip A Raices

As I have been driving around the last few weeks I have noticed that there are those homeowners that have done some gorgeous plantings of annuals and other types of shrubbery and bushes.

The color has lit up those properties to make them stand out above others on their block.

However, I have seen so many others that have not done so, even some that have for sale signs. This doesn’t highlight and make the outside of those homes pop, so anyone doing a drive-by might not consider stopping by and just might pass by without considering the property.

Many concentrate so much on the inside that they many times forget about the curb appeal that purchasers look for. As an example, a few years ago my son was looking for a vacation home out in the North Fork of Long Island and had passed by a home a few years ago and because the outside was not very appealing, he and his wife passed on it.

Lo and behold a year plus later we saw the house again when he told me he had seen it already. I asked him if he went in and he said no because they didn’t like the exterior. I
said don’t judge a book by its cover, so we went in and they ended up purchasing.

Many may not give a home a second look as my son did, due to the lack of curb appeal. It’s much to your advantage to always add spring/summer color to the landscape of your home, especially if you are selling or considering selling.

The outside is as important as the inside and there are times that it could make or break a deal. Buyers will consider the extra dollars that they will have to spend to upgrade the property, no more than what they might have to do to the interior. Upgrading and sprucing up the property is surely much less than a kitchen or bathroom, right?

Impatiens are the most popular annuals to plant.

It is critical to know how much shade and/or sun will be in the area to be planted. Some annuals need more shade than sun and visa-versa with those that need much more exposure to the sun and less shade. Some of my favorites are Variegated Periwinkle, Red flash Caladium, Giant Snowflake, Black-Eyed Susan, etc. Others I like are Dropmore Scarlet Honeysuckle Vine, Dahlias
(Marble Ball and Pulp Fiction varieties), Roses of Sharon, BegoniasandMay Night Salvia, etc.

There is such a huge choice in varieties, I would suggest that you go to a nursery either nearby or plan a day trip and go out to the growers on the North or South Fork to see varieties that you probably won’t experience at the large box garden centers.

As far as shrubs and other types of perennials, you can choose azaleas, although they have bloomed already, Rhododendrons, which are in bloom. American or Korean Dogwood trees are another flowering tree and they come in an assortment of colors.

Plant shade trees where grass will not grow but keep far enough away from the foundation of your home so future damage will not occur. Look for deep-rooted trees without surface roots. Profusion Crabapple, Flowering Cherry, Japanese Maple are good examples.
Cypress, Hemlock, or Thuja Green Giant Arborvitaes are excellent for screening and privacy.

Whatever your decisions are to add or upgrade your landscape make sure you follow the planting directions especially when digging the holes and spacing the
plantings for future growth, so in five years they do not crowd each
other out.

Also important is to provide adequate amounts of water to your annuals as needed. Also, root feeding your trees and shrubs will go a long way in keeping them healthy and growing taller and thicker each year. Also, do some periodical granular fertilization to your other plantings with either Osmocote smart release plant food or Miracle-Gro slow release.
Remember you don’t get a second chance at a first impression.

So light up that front yard and get out there this weekend and do some plantings. You don’t want those serious buyers to just do a driveby, but you want them to stop and revel in how beautiful you have maintained your property.

Philip A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave. Ste 180 in Great Neck. He has 39 years of experience in the Real Estate industry and has earned designations as a Graduate of the Realtor Institute (G.R.I.) and also as a Certified International Property Specialist. For a free 15 minute consultation, a value analysis of your home, or to answer any of your questions or concerns he can be reached by cell: (516) 647-4289 or by email:

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