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Landscaping for Property Value: A Smart Investment

Landscaping for Property Value: A Smart Investment

If you’re looking for ways to increase the value of your home, it’s easy to overlook the outdoors. But your property’s landscaping can significantly influence its appeal and resale price. The power of a well-groomed lawn, charming flowerbeds, and strategically placed trees should not be underestimated.

Let’s explore how landscaping can improve your property value, and which types of landscaping investments are most likely to bolster your home’s resale price.

The Importance of Curb Appeal

First impressions are crucial, and the exterior of your home is the first thing prospective buyers see. An unkept yard could be a deal-breaker, making potential buyers think that if the outside is neglected, the inside might be too. On the other hand, a beautifully landscaped yard can create a positive impression, convincing buyers your home is worth considering even before they step inside.

Landscaping significantly contributes to curb appeal. Studies show that good curb appeal can add 5-12% to a home’s value, making landscaping a wise investment for those planning to sell.

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Landscaping Investments that Pay Off

While it’s clear that landscaping can boost property value, it’s essential to consider what kind of investments will yield the best return. Here are a few areas to consider:

1. Trees

Trees are an excellent investment for your property. According to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers, a mature tree can add $1,000 to $10,000 to a property’s value. They can also reduce cooling costs in the summer, making your home more energy-efficient and attractive to eco-conscious buyers.

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2. Native Plants

Using native plants in your landscaping can also enhance your home’s value. They typically require less maintenance and are more resistant to local pests and diseases. Plus, they contribute to local biodiversity, another selling point for environmentally conscious buyers. Read about some great Middle Tennessee options for native plants here.

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3. Outdoor Living Spaces

In the age of staycations, outdoor living spaces are more in demand than ever. Patios, decks, outdoor kitchens, and covered areas can serve as an extension of the home’s living space, adding significant value. A report from the National Association of Realtors shows that patios are among the top features homebuyers look for, making it a worthy investment!

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4. Well-Maintained Lawn

A well-maintained lawn is key to boosting curb appeal and thus property value. Regular lawn care such as mowing and edging are important, but fertilizing and weed control can make a substantial difference in the market price of your home. Our team at Gardens of Babylon can help in every aspect of caring for your lawn. Reach out to learn more about our Natural and Bridge Lawn Care Programs which focus on creating better alternatives to typical lawn care treatments.

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5. Lighting

Proper outdoor lighting can highlight your property’s best features and increase security – both appealing factors for potential buyers. Consider using LED lights for energy efficiency and longevity and let a professional help add the perfect ambiance! For creative ways to illuminate with lighting, read our blog here.

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Bottom Line

Landscaping is more than just a cosmetic enhancement; it’s a smart investment that can significantly boost your property value. Whether you’re planning to sell your home soon or in the future, investing in your property’s landscaping now can yield substantial returns down the line.

Remember, the best landscaping upgrades are those that enhance your home’s overall appeal and fit naturally into the surrounding environment. Don’t hesitate to seek professional advice from one of our landscape designers to understand what investments would work best for your property. With the right planning and execution, you can create a beautiful outdoor space that adds substantial value to your home and attracts eager buyers.

7 Native Perennials to Add to Your Garden

7 Native Perennials to Add to Your Garden

It’s that time of year when we look at our uninteresting and bare landscaping and wonder, “what can I do to bring life and color?” Annuals have their place to shine, but if you want to have continuous color each year, then keep reading. Going native means less work for us – WIN. And, it also gives a boost to our local critters by providing what they need – double WIN! So, if adding native perennials to your garden is in your not-so-distant-future, we have seven to check out!

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

This striking wildflower is a favorite among pollinators and gardeners alike. With its vibrant purple petals and prominent cone-shaped center, it adds a pop of color to any garden. Purple Coneflower thrives in full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. It blooms from late spring to early summer and is known for its medicinal properties, including immune-boosting benefits. Plant it in spring for best results.

Spring Color For Your Doorstep

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Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

A classic wildflower with sunny yellow petals and a dark brown center, Black-Eyed Susan brings cheer to gardens and meadows. It’s drought-tolerant and easy to grow, making it perfect for beginner gardeners. This perennial blooms from mid-summer to fall, attracting butterflies and bees. Plant it in spring or early summer for a burst of color later in the year.

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Eastern Bluestar (Amsonia tabernaemontana)

With its delicate blue star-shaped flowers and feathery green foliage, Eastern Bluestar adds a touch of elegance to gardens and borders. This low-maintenance perennial thrives in full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. It blooms in late spring to early summer and turns a brilliant golden-yellow in fall, providing multi-season interest. Plant it in spring for optimal growth and flowering.

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Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum)

This plant is like the life of the party from summer through fall, showing off its pink and purple blooms. Crush a leaf and you’ll catch a whiff of vanilla—how cool is that? It’s perfect for attracting butterflies and bees. Best time to plant: Spring.

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Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata) & Creeping Phlox (phlox stolonifera)

These low-growers are real showstoppers in the spring with beautiful blue, pink, purple, or white flowers. Spreading slowly, you’ll see them form lovely colonies over time. I personally love how they crowd out weeds! Expect them to be a hit with both hummingbirds and butterflies. Native to woodland areas and rocky slopes, where they form dense mats of foliage. Best time to plant: Early spring.

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Coreopsis (Coreopsis spp.)

If you want some sunshine in your garden, this plant has got you covered with its bright yellow blooms in the summer. And it’s low-maintenance too, spreading out nicely without much fuss. Best time to plant: Early spring.

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Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

Don’t let the name fool you—this plant is a gem in any garden although may often be found in wetland habitats such as marshes, swamps, and along stream banks. It’s well-adapted to moist soil conditions, making it an ideal choice for rain gardens and areas with poor drainage. A cool fact is that Swamp Milkweed is a vital host plant for monarch butterflies. Monarch caterpillars exclusively feed on the leaves of milkweed plants, including Swamp Milkweed, making it essential for their survival. So by planting this perennial in your garden, you are helping support monarch butterfly populations! Best time to plant: Spring.

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Now go on, get planting and let nature’s colors shine! And, remember our expert team is here to help with designing and planting your dream perennial garden, so just reach out!

Porch Color: Plants, Pots, and Process

Porch Color: Plants, Pots, and Process

 

Spring is all around us, from the blooming redbuds and chocolate chip ajuga (my personal favorite) alongside the cheerful melodies of nesting birds. Let’s bid farewell to winter’s starkness and bring some charm and color to that porch! Stepping into the lively season of spring is easier than you think with the right combination of plants, pots, and process of crafting it. Let’s explore the essentials to help you create a botanical wonder, that elevates your outdoor space and inspires your neighbors!

Plants: Blooms with Color

To create a captivating container garden that flourishes in the Middle Tennessee climate, it’s essential to select plants that not only tolerate but thrive in our conditions. Here are some delightful spring-flowering plant options:

Pansies (Viola × wittrockiana)
Bloom Time: Pansies typically bloom from early spring until the heat of summer.
Colors: Pansies come in a wide array of colors, including purple, yellow, orange, and blue.
Cool Fact: Pansies are not just pretty faces – they’re edible too! These charming blooms are often used to garnish salads or desserts, adding a pop of color and a subtle floral flavor.

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Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus)
Bloom Time: Snapdragons bloom from late spring to early summer.
Colors: Snapdragons are available in an assortment of hues, including pink, red, yellow, white, and purple.
Unusual Fact: The name “snapdragon” comes from the flower’s unique appearance. When you gently squeeze the sides of the bloom, it opens its “mouth” like a dragon’s, revealing a tongue-like structure inside.

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Petunias (Petunia × hybrida)
Bloom Time: Petunias bloom profusely from spring until the first frost in fall.
Colors: Petunias showcase a vibrant spectrum of colors, from bold reds and pinks to soft pastels and striking purples.
Fun Fact: Petunias are popular for their ability to attract hummingbirds with their brightly colored blooms and sweet nectar. These delightful visitors add an extra touch of magic to your garden.

Chocolate Chip Ajuga (Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’)
Bloom Time: Chocolate Chip Ajuga blesses us with its blooms from late spring to early summer, gracing the garden with its charming presence.
Colors: Its flowers display a range of hues from delicate lavender to deep purple, complementing the rich chocolate tones of its foliage.
Interesting Fact: Beyond its visual appeal, Chocolate Chip Ajuga offers more than meets the eye. Its leaves emit a subtle fragrance when brushed, adding a delightful sensory dimension to the garden. Moreover, like lavender, it holds potential for herbal remedies, contributing both beauty and practicality to your outdoor space.

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Dianthus (Dianthus spp.)
Bloom Time: Dianthus blooms from late spring to midsummer.
Colors: Dianthus blooms come in an array of colors, including pink, red, white, purple, and bicolor combinations.
Fabulous Fact: The name “dianthus” is derived from the Greek words “dios,” meaning divine, and “anthos,” meaning flower. These charming flowers have been cherished for centuries for their delicate beauty and delightful fragrance.

Pots: Elevating Your Style

When it comes to selecting pots for your container garden, form doesn’t always follow function. For instance, French country pots often feature rustic charm with distressed finishes and intricate detailing, perfect for adding a touch of vintage elegance to your porch. A great example would be this lovely Bergs pot. On the other hand, modern pots boast clean lines and minimalist designs, ideal for creating a sleek contemporary look. At our garden center, we offer a wide selection of pots in store and online here in various styles to suit your taste and elevate your outdoor decor.

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Process: Crafting Your Botanical Ensemble

Creating a successful container garden is all about balance and composition, and the “thriller, filler, spiller” technique offers a foolproof formula for achieving stunning results. The “thriller” plant serves as the focal point, adding height and drama to your arrangement. This could be a tall grass like Miscanthus or a striking spike plant such as Dracaena. The “filler” plants, positioned around the thriller, add volume and color, filling in the space between the taller centerpiece and the trailing spillers. Choose plants with contrasting textures and complementary hues to create visual interest. Finally, the “spiller” plants cascade over the edges of the container, softening its edges and adding a sense of movement. Trailing petunias, ivy, and sweet potato vine are excellent choices for spillers.

But don’t forget about soil in our containers. That’s something that most people overlook – they get caught up with the beauty of the flowers. But, actually, the soil is the most important component, because that’s what’s going to feed our beautiful plants and give them nutrients. You want to get the best quality potting soil that you can for your containers with lots of micronutrients. We have great quality soil and different brands to choose from at Gardens of Babylon!

Pro tip: If you have pots that dry out throughout the day, buy some play sand to place in bottom of your containers and this will hold more moisture for you throughout the season! 

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Ready to bring a splash of color to your porch? Visit the Garden Center to find the right soil, plants, and pots for your project. Our knowledgeable staff is here to help you every step of the way. And if you’re short on time or expertise, don’t hesitate to reach out to our botanical design team – we’ll handle all the work for you, from plant selection to arrangement. Let us help you turn your container garden dreams into reality!

Raised Garden Bed & Personal Farmers: Why all the Hype?

Raised Garden Bed & Personal Farmers: Why all the Hype?

No time to plan your garden? Let us do the work for you with our personal farmer service!

Here in Middle Tennessee our temperatures are still dipping low at night, making some of us feel like warmer weather is far off. Rest assured, though, the time for prepping your garden is here. Have you planned yours out yet?

If this sounds like a daunting task, luck for you – Gardens of Babylon offers a unique “personal farmer” service, making your gardening dreams a reality with minimal effort on your part. This service covers everything necessary to have a successful home garden, from raised bed design and installation, filling your beds with premium compost, to planning, installing, and maintaining your vegetables for you if you choose a contract for ongoing maintenance. The garden will still need a bit of individual attention from the homeowner, but a weekly or bi-weekly maintenance visit makes any necessary tending much easier. 

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So why the hype around raised beds? These elevated wonders are a favorite among busy gardeners. If you choose to plan out your garden on your own, these can make your work load much lighter! The soil in them warms up faster in spring, ensuring an early start to your growing season. They boast superior drainage, keeping your plants happy even during downpours. They also maximize space and minimize pesky weeds. And, a big plus for gardeners who struggle with heavy clay is the ease of improving the condition of soil in a raised bed. Whether you’re gardening on your own or letting us be your personal farmer, raised beds are a win-win!

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But how do you go about setting up your own raised bed oasis? Well, the key is in the details. Opt for a width of no more than four feet to ensure easy access from all sides without compacting the soil. And don’t skimp on sunlight – aim for at least six hours of direct sunshine daily to keep those veggies thriving.

As for what to plant, the options are endless! Beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, herbs – you name it, they’ll flourish in raised beds. Just be mindful of space hogs like melons and pumpkins, which are better suited to larger gardens. And don’t forget to get creative with interplanting; mix and match veggies to maximize your harvest potential.

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Ready to take the plunge into raised bed gardening but want it handled by a pro? Schedule a consultation here to kickstart your green journey with your own Personal Farmer! With expert guidance and top-notch services at your fingertips, there’s no better time to turn your garden dreams into reality.

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If you’re more the DIY type, the Garden Center at Gardens of Babylon has everything you need to build your own raised beds. You’ll find cedar boards and raised bed kits, along with the soil and plants (in the appropriate season) to fill them, and the tools you need to tend them. Get ready to unleash your inner gardener!

Zen Zone Design: 5 Tips for Peaceful Spaces

Zen Zone Design: 5 Tips for Peaceful Spaces

Ready to transform your backyard into a Zen zone of tranquility? Contact our team today!

In the vibrant city of Nashville, TN, where the rhythm of life can be exhilarating, having a peaceful retreat right in your backyard is priceless. Today, we’re sharing five expert tips you can use to make your outdoor spaces perfect for relaxing. We’ll focus on design tips that seamlessly transition your space as the sun sets, ensuring your Zen zone remains a haven from day to night.

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Embrace Nature’s Influence

To create a Zen zone in your backyard, start by embracing the beauty of nature. Incorporate native plants, soothing greenery, and natural materials like wood and stone into your design. These elements enhance the aesthetics and foster a deeper connection with the outdoors, promoting a space of tranquility. Creating meandering paths crafted from sustainable materials, such as reclaimed wood or locally sourced stone, evokes a seamless blend with the environment. Middle Tennessee offers a variety of native plants that can contribute to a serene and peaceful atmosphere.

A few good choices are:

Eastern Redbud –  a tree known for its beautiful pink blossoms in spring.
American Beautyberry – a native shrub that produces clusters of vibrant purple berries in late summer and fall.
Eastern Hemlock – a majestic evergreen tree that provides shade and a sense of serenity with its graceful branches and dense foliage.
River Birch –  an attractive tree with peeling bark and graceful form, River Birch adds a sense of calmness to landscapes, especially near water features.
Switchgrass – a native grass that offers a serene backdrop with its graceful, swaying foliage and airy seed heads, attracting wildlife and adding movement to the garden.
Purple Coneflower – a perennial with pinkish-purple blooms, this flower attracts pollinators, contributing to a harmonious garden ecosystem.

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Simplify Your Design

To truly embrace the essence of simplicity in your design, consider adopting the principles of Japanese minimalism, where every element serves a purpose and nothing is superfluous. Emphasize clean lines and functional furniture, opting for pieces crafted from natural materials like bamboo or rattan, which gracefully evoke a sense of tranquility and age, further enhancing the timeless appeal of your oasis. Create visual continuity by incorporating a limited color palette inspired by nature, such as soft earth tones or muted greens, fostering a seamless integration with the outdoors. Prioritize open spaces and allow for natural flow and movement when placing pots, furniture, and plants.

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Cultivate Cozy Comfort

Comfort is key when designing a Zen-inspired outdoor space. Choose cozy seating options like plush cushions, oversized pillows, and hammocks to encourage relaxation and lounging. Create intimate seating areas tucked away in secluded corners of your backyard, perfect for quiet contemplation or enjoying a good book on a lazy afternoon.

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Harness the Power of Water Features

Water has a remarkable ability to induce a sense of calm and tranquility. Incorporate a water feature such as a fountain, pond, or babbling brook into your backyard design to add an element of serenity. The gentle sound of flowing water can drown out unwanted noise and create a peaceful ambiance that soothes the soul.

Beyond its aesthetic allure, incorporating water features into your backyard oasis can significantly improve air quality. As water flows and evaporates, it releases negative ions into the air, which can purify and cleanse the surrounding atmosphere. This natural process enhances the overall ambiance of your outdoor space and contributes to a healthier environment, promoting well-being and vitality for you and your loved ones.

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Illuminate with Soft Lighting

Extend the enjoyment of your Zen zone into the evening hours with soft, ambient lighting. Incorporate LED fixtures, lanterns, or string lights to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Avoid harsh or bright lights that can disrupt the natural serenity of your backyard oasis, and instead opt for soft, diffused lighting that enhances the overall sense of calm. Strategically placed lighting enhances the visual appeal of your landscape and extends the usability of your outdoor retreat into the evening hours. Soft, ambient lighting can accentuate the movement of water, casting mesmerizing reflections and shadows that dance across your garden. Additionally, illuminating pathways and seating areas ensure safety and allow you to fully appreciate the beauty of your Zen-inspired sanctuary long after the sun has set.

You may not know that soft lighting not only enhances the ambiance but can also have psychological benefits. Studies have shown that gentle, warm lighting can promote relaxation and reduce stress. By incorporating soft lighting into your outdoor space, you create an environment that looks inviting and fosters a sense of peace and tranquility, providing a haven for unwinding after a long day.

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Transforming your backyard into a Zen-inspired oasis is within reach with these expert tips. By embracing nature’s influence, simplifying your design, cultivating cozy comfort, harnessing the power of water features, and illuminating with soft lighting, you can create a tranquil outdoor space that soothes the senses and rejuvenates the soul.

Ready to transform your backyard into a Zen zone of tranquility? Contact our team today for expert guidance and personalized solutions tailored to your needs. Start designing your own slice of serenity right in your backyard, where peaceful moments await from day to night.