2011-09-08 / Entertainment

The Potting Shed

Flowering Shrubs Increase Home Value
By Carole McCray

Bloomerang Purple Lilac Bloomerang Purple Lilac If your thumb is only a little green, it is easier than you think to inexpensively add value to your home. Landscaping is the key to improving curb appeal to your home when you plant shrubs and bushes. As the plants grow larger, they should improve their looks, which increases your home’s appearance. Many shrubs provide colorful flowers each season, making them sound longterm investments for your landscape.

According to research by the American Society of Landscape Architects, when selling your home, you can recover from 100 to 200 percent of every dollar you invest in your landscaping. Landscaping is one home improvement that may actually appreciate over time

Improving your landscaping with shrubs can save you money as well. Replacing part of your lawn with a mass planting of shrubs can reduce costs for lawn mowing and lawn care, such as the cost of fertilizer and gas. Plus landscaping can reduce your air- conditioning costs by as much as 50 percent, according to the American Public Power Association.

In a difficult housing market, increased curb appeal might be the edge to selling a home. So the bigger and brighter the color of shrubs and other ornamental woody plants, the better the chance of catching a potential homebuyer’s attention.

Shrubs often provide colorful flowers for years, rather than just one season, making them sound long-term investments for your landscape. Many of the newest flowering shrubs available today are hardy, bloom each year without special care or pampering, and they sport interesting colors such as pink or purple.

Consider the new Lo & Behold ‘’Blue Chip” buddleia, a miniature butterfly bush with loads of bright blue flowers. Lo & Behold “Blue Chip” blooms continuously as you won’t need to prune this plant as you do older varieties of buddleia. Like all butterfly bushes, it also attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

Another new shrub, the Invincible Spirit Hydrangea, is the very first pink-flowered form of the ‘Annabelle’ hydrangea. Like all ‘Annabelle’ hydrangeas, it’s super hardy, adaptable and easy to grow. It also blooms on new wood, so it will flower even after an early spring pruning, giving you pink color all season.

A close cousin to the Invincible Spirit is the new Incrediball Hydrangea. Some have described this hydrangea as an ‘Annabelle’ on steroids.” It’s huge, basketball sized flowers are the biggest ever seen on a hydrangea, creating a burst of white in your landscape or garden.

For repeat color and a wonderful scent, there is the new Blommerang Purple, a reblooming lilac. Bloomerang is the most compact, heaviest-blooming dwarf lilac ever grown. It produces a bumper crop of fragrant lavender flowers in the spring and then continues to bloom again from mid-summer until frost.

Whether you are planning to sell your home or looking to add new landscaping to your existing home, flowering shrubs and bushes adds value and beauty to your home.

All these new shrubs are available at better garden centers.

To locate a garden center where the new hydrangeas, buddleias and dwarf lilac can be found, visit www.provenwinners.com/findr etailer.

Carole McCray lives, writes and gardens in the scenic Laurel Highlands east of Lignoier, Pa. She is an award-winning writer; her most recent awrd was the Garden Writers Association Awrd for her article on Native Seeds, which appeared in The Christian Science Monitor newspaper. She can be reached at mountain26@verizon.net.

Photo courtesy of Proven Winners.

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