Home green home Put in as much love, care and thought to your exterior as your interior. Backyard flowers, a striking garden and beautiful curb appeal can be a warm welcome into your home.

A new home quickly becomes an oasis for a homeowner, a sanctuary that deserves a loved-in look outside that is equal to its indoor counterpart. The catch: nature takes time. It is well worth investing in the long-term care and beauty of your outdoor living spaces.

Here are six quick fixes to boost green elements in your new yard.

Home green home

1. Container gardening

An inexpensive and time-conscious way to add lushness to your outdoor spaces is through container gardening. There is little to no weeding involved and you can curate the containers to your personal style. Your pots can be as lavish as an etched terra cotta pot or as simple as a wooden crate. In it you can add landscape fabric and potting soil – make sure it’s a balanced mix of peat, loam and compost for best results, and plants.

Home green home

2. Bold colours

A monochromatic palate can have a big impact. Fill your planters entirely with baby blue pansies or bright orange begonias. Both of these annuals are profuse bloomers that require little watering and are often readily available at your local supermarket or garden centre. The upright blossoms of the pansy will greet you day after day, while the begonia, with its plump blossoms, will long resonate with summer’s splendor. The minimum requirement is deadheading. Harsh as it may seem, pinching off spent blooms and seedpods will only encourage the growth of more flowers.

Home green home

3. Tropical greenery

Tropical greenery in containers can have a larger than life impact. Ferns, Bromeliads and Alocasias are interesting, sizeable plants that can be inexpensive to purchase. Let the broad fronds of any of these plants overhang the rim of your container to create a “full to the brim” effect. Maintenance is as simple as watering when the soil in the container is dry to the depth of your finger. The added bonus is that these plants can be brought to a sunny indoor spot to be enjoyed year round.

Home green home

4. Fine vines

Vines are a quick and elegant way to make an impact on the outdoor appeal of your home. Though there are hundreds to choose from and as many ways to display them, a simple trellis, a nicely edged, small plot and even the most common varieties can make a stunning display in just one season.

Home green home (Source: NC Cooperative Extension Horticulture) (Source: NC Cooperative Extension Horticulture)

5. Flowering vines

Flowering vines such as Clematis and Akebia are lightweight and can be encouraged along railings or fences. Though they require regular pruning to control their growth — yes, they grow that fast! — this greenery is well worth the work. Both vines present whimsical leafing that gives way to striking blossoms. The midnight blue Akebia flower and the star-shaped Clematis blooms are akin to a clear summer’s night.

Home green home

6. Common vines

Common vines should not be overlooked. Ivy, for instance, can create a sense of stateliness for any new home. Its timelessness, variety and versatility are second to none. Try perennials like Boston Ivy along a long length of a bare fence, English Ivy as groundcover to bare soil in a shady corner, or train variegated Persian Ivy along the railing of a sunny balcony. Once planted you will soon find lasting lushness from these leafy classics.

When it comes to adding the first shades of green to your new home, ensuring success is as easy as starting small with the right plants and placement. Be true to your style and to the natural elements of your new homestead and just like that you have nurtured the seedlings to a lush and lasting landscape.

Urban Living