Landscaping your house in the city is a no brainer – it adds curb appeal and value. Landscaping cottage real estate is no different. First impressions happen quickly so improving the appearance of the property is definitely something to think about – especially if you want to sell your cottage.
In a city house where you have a private backyard, curb appeal is limited to your front yard. By contrast, at your cottage property, it is common for both the lakeside and roadside to be visible to neighbours: beside you and across the lake from you. The good news is, classic cottage landscaping, like the houses that give them their name, tend to be more compact, informal and highly individualistic.
Flowers, shrubs, vegetables and decorative rocks in neatly tended arrangements can go a long way in making your country property look great from the outside. This is easy to do, especially if you are spending the majority of your time at the cottage during the summer months.
If you are limited to mostly weekend trips to the Near North and do not want to spend your time gardening; use wild flowers native to the area in your garden – they do not require much maintenance and look beautiful around a rural property. Or simply create a no maintenance landscape with a rock garden instead of flowers. Hire someone to come in and cut the grass once a week. This is a small cost, and it makes a huge difference to the way your country property looks.
If you are concerned about landscaping the waterfront of your cottage property try to remember that the basic idea behind waterfront landscaping is achieving a balance between the surrounding natural habitat and the overall feel of your yard. Large rocks can add definition and personality to your waterfront. Of course, a well maintained dock and/or boathouse will also add “curb appeal” to your recreational property.
Another popular waterfront landscaping option is to add plants that thrive in wet areas along the edge of the water. They look great and require very little maintenance.
If you are thinking of landscaping your waterfront, remember that natural shoreline vegetation plays an important role in maintaining water quality. If you want to remove vegetation or alter the waterfront landscape by building a retaining wall or importing sand to make a sandy beach, make sure to contact the local conservation authority and the Ministry of Natural Resources to get the proper permits.
When you own a cottage property, maintaining the land is as important as preserving the home itself. Land, like a home will increase in value when improvements are made to it. If you are getting ready to landscape, remember that gardens in cottage country should delight rather than impress. If you are thinking of selling your cottage property, please contact me directly for some landscaping ideas that will help bring more value to your home.