Landscaping Ideas for Your Country Home

Improve the landscaping of your home and increase the property value by 20 percent. Follow these tips for do-it-yourself, easy landscaping.

| March/April 1970

  • Home Landscaping
    A little landscaping can add a lot of value to your home.
    Photo by Fotolia/Tlenathewise
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    Divide your place into four separate areas: public, private, service and production
    Illustration by MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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    Decide how each area should be planted to make boundaries for privacy, beauty and productivity. 
    Illustration by MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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    The "right-wrong" diagram is a landscaping score card which we've adapted from a farmstead score card put out by the Agricultural Extension Service at Ohio State University. You may not agree with all of the things listed here, some points are largely a matter of personal taste and a great deal depends on your locality. But we think you'll find this score card very useful just the same, for checking over your own place and finding ways to improve it.
    Illustration by MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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    In each area, lay out the buildings, gardens and lawns as desired.
    Illustration by MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 002-024-01tab
    Use this scorecard to evaluate the quality of your landscaping.
    Photo by MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

  • Home Landscaping
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Although our homestead is not for sale, in January of this year I was offered more than twice the amount we originally paid for it.

Part of this increase is due to inflation and the housing shortage. But even a few years from now when the housing shortage is over and inflation has leveled off, and maybe real estate prices will take a big drop, I feel confident that our homestead will be worth considerably more than we originally paid and will be far more desirable and easier to sell than it was when we bought it.

One big reason for this extra value is the simple combination of a few little things that improve its appearance and its outdoor livability. I don't want to call it landscaping because you may think that means we have a large estate or have spent a lot of money on fancy things whereas what we've actually done is to plant a few inexpensive trees, shrubs and flowers in the most natural places. The amazing fact is with $25 worth of seeds and plants you can add literally hundreds of dollars to the value of a small place. More importantly, the place becomes lovelier and more livable. Your aim needn't be to make your yard showy, but just the kind of place people want to be in, a place that feels right outdoors.

If you'll look at the pictures included in this article's image gallery, you can see a couple of smaller changes that made a big difference. See how much better the small evergreens look compared with the tree at the corner. Also note the big improvement in the front entrance. Although it doesn't show too much in the snapshot, the picket fence gives the house a longer look.



Next time you are driving in the country look at the difference in various houses. Some seem bleak and undesirable. Others seem friendly and inviting. Often you see a new expensive place equipped with many modern improvements that you just wouldn't want to have for yourself. Then you'll notice a less expensive, less modern place, perhaps with a nice orchard and an informal hedge of berry bushes and several nice shade trees. This sort of place, though less modern, is the one that says "home."

Just what is it you do to a country place to make this difference? Here are a few suggestions, a five-year plan that can greatly increase the value of a small homestead.






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