Landscaping has the ability to both elevate a home’s appearance and boost its curb appeal. Design takes center stage, whether you simply just want to enjoy your outdoors or put your home’s best foot forward on the real estate market.
Few know the value of this more than Joan de Grey of Joan de Grey Landscape Design. Joan has always been creative. She graduated from Ryerson with a degree in Photography and worked in advertising photography production before transitioning to creating photography illustrated gardening articles for books and magazines. This visual work eventually brought her to landscape design!
We asked Joan our pressing questions - about her company, the industry as a whole, and about design trends to help your landscape desires come to life - and she shared with us several important takeaways for homeowners, buyers, and sellers alike.
You Have to Start Somewhere
Joan and the landscapers she works with understand that a home is the largest and most important asset of a homeowner - so changes made to one’s property are going to be significant. No matter what vision you’re trying to achieve, so much hinges on the often-overlooked starting point: soil. A great garden starts with great soil. Most poor soils are lacking in air and organic material. A great landscaper will amend the soil with additions such as compost, mycorrhizal fungi and worm castings.
What Sellers Want to See
While Joan and her team are capable of bringing any outdoor vision to life, there are a few things to consider when landscaping to sell. Landscaping should match the style of the home and be kept as clean and simple as possible. Nothing too personal, overwhelming, or anything that looks like it will take too much upkeep. One important tip that she loves to recommend - planting a native shade tree (a tree that occurs naturally in our geographic area, such as an American Beech, American Chestnut, or Balsam Poplar) is a great way to add long-term value to your property.
Pay Attention to Trends
While there are important standards and guidelines in the landscaping practice, part of the consultation and design process must come from a trend perspective. Lately, Joan has noticed an increase in plants with more than one purpose. A great example of this is the serviceberry, a tree that flowers in the spring, provides early food for our pollinators, gives shade from the intense summer heat, and produces berries for birds in the fall.
Don’t Forget the Lighting
No matter the scale of the project, Joan holds landscape lighting in high regard as the finishing touch. Good layout and design can add an additional room to a home when the weather is good! Instead of a dark window, homeowners can create a living picture.So whether you’re dreaming of a place to relax, needing a child-friendly redesign or are restoring a property to sell - an update to your landscape is a great place to start.
Thank you, Joan, for your insights!
You can see the beautiful work done by Joan de Grey Landscape on her website.