Making the “Castle” Complete
by Amy Lignor
There are so many different lifestyle choices nowadays, it’s hard to pick just the right one that will add to the peace and serenity of your own life. But when it comes to the house, the “castle” you own is your castle, whether it be Buckingham Palace or the cabin in the woods with the lovely scene of wildlife all around. In 2015, however, one of the things that make
the castle the best it can be comes from the outside, not the inside. Gardening and landscaping have jumped to the top of the list when it comes to talking about home redecoration or renovation. Not only because it helps to sell the house in the future, adding more ‘finery’ to grab more money from the potential buyer, but also because the owner wants a place where they can go to sit, relax, and love life.
Whether you have the kids in the backyard that want a huge, safe place to play while you watch them from the deck; or you have that stunning front yard that everyone can see when they pass by and look in awe at the beauty that you have chosen to decorate it with, the outside of that castle has become a huge part of daily life.
It is true that any real estate person will tell you that landscaping is the first thing a buyer sees, and it is the framing that shows your house off to its highest potential. If the frame of the picture isn’t right, then the picture within looks shoddy and poor, which is not something you want to see. Choosing the right landscaping is a tough job. After all, there are a million things you can do to the front or backyard, from putting in that pool you always wanted, to putting in the perfect garden for you to enjoy through all seasons…the yard is something that not only helps the house, but allows you to get outside and actually enjoy it.
One dynamic feature comes with a tree. Now, there is a belief out there that only Nature, herself, can create a tree. However, that’s not exactly true. You can put in trees. Maybe not the 100-year-old oak that has stood magnificently on a property, but you can add smaller that will bring about so many benefits, including the absolute beauty of being able to look at it on a daily basis. The benefit list is long when it comes to having trees on the property: from the storm water runoff, where trees, of course, draw up water run-off stopping pollutants to the energy savings they bring. Trees cool homes in summertime, as well as working as windbreakers during the winter.
When it comes to beauty, it is lovely to have a rose bush – the colors are startling, BUT, it is far better to have the native shrubs, plants and flowers to your area simply because they thrive at all times. Indigenous plants do not need the constant time and money that has to be put into foreign plants, because they are already in their natural habitat. And the help they give to the surrounding wildlife cannot be measured. Even The National Wildlife Federation supports this so much that they award a special certification to homeowners who create natural habitats that allow for birds, and other animals a place to feed, live, and enjoy life by keeping the natural world intact.
On ‘to-do’ lists when it comes to increasing the beauty of your castle are everything from rain gardens that filter and distribute runoff underground, and prevent storm water from flooding basements, as well as the beauty of fencing.
Putting up the right fence is part of the new lifestyle of the castle you want to live in. Fencing can come in all forms, from stone terracing to the beauty of natural wood. Fencing always adds safety to the home and, if placed in correctly, can not only help the backyard but also the front. Curb appeal can be increased if just the right type of fencing is added so the frame around the castle is elegant and/or charming.
And never bypass that outdoor lighting that can truly be stunning, casting brilliance on the castle that is all yours.