There is no question that greenery and flowers around a house adds significantly to its curb appeal. One upside of the Greater Baltimore area is that it is blessed with four distinct seasons, meaning that these touches can be customized by time of year. Aside from the middle of winter, there are always flowers that can flourish in Maryland and add a special touch to a home’s exterior visage (think mums in fall). One downside of the Greater Baltimore area is that it is considered a “transition zone” in terms of lawn grass—the climate is not conducive to year-round maintenance of either warm- or cool-season turfgrasses. Whether it is plants, shrubs, groundcover, flowers or grass, the Baltimore area has some excellent resources to guide a homeowner through readying his/her home for sale. For example:
- University of Maryland Extension Baltimore County offers a service where you can ask questions of certified professional horticulturalists any time, with answers emailed within 48 hours. For example, if a homeowner is trying to determine when is the best time to plant grass seed, “Ask a Gardening Expert” is a perfect vehicle for the inquiry.
- Pearlstone Center offers various online gardening resources including information about companion plantings and seeds and seedlings.
- Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources offers a helpful list of deer-resistant plants, including which ones are native to Maryland.
- University of Maryland Extension Master Gardener provides a list of native plant sources in the area.
- University of Maryland Extension Home & Garden Information Center provides an excellent lawn maintenance calendar for local lawns.
- Tips on the proper application of fertilizer, what height to mow to, lawn watering tips, etc. are available in a publication by the Maryland Department of Agriculture and University of Maryland Extension.
- Best practices for protecting trees are provided by a local gardener specializing in natives.
Some tips to keep in mind:
- Fresh, dark mulch adds a nice touch (not too much or too close to the house else it will attract termites). It has the added benefits of keeping weeds at bay and retaining moisture.
- Grass should be regularly mowed and edged.
- Colorful plant pots can add a warm touch. Locally, reasonably priced large pots can be purchased at Costco. Barrel planters can be purchased at reasonable prices at Home Depot.
- In the same way that greenery can add to the curb appeal of a home, it can also detract from it if not properly maintained.
- A seller should ensure that there are no overgrown trees or shrubs around the house, or any precariously hanging tree limbs.
- Eliminate dead plants and leaves.
- Some greenery or flowers around the mailbox looks very inviting.
- An excellent source for purchasing flowers for planting is the Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar. It is hosted on Sundays from April through December at Holliday and Saratoga Streets from 7:00 am – noon (except when there is a pandemic).