By Jennifer Zuri
If home is a sanctuary, then it makes sense to create inviting, beautiful spaces that soothe the soul and provide a relaxing haven from the world. What do your customers see when they pull up to their homes at the end of a hectic day at the office? Most likely, their house is surrounded by ho-hum landscaping that imitates every other house on the block. The obligatory evergreen bushes flanked by a flowering shrub or two fall short in creating curb appeal that opens its arms and says, “Welcome Home!”
You can change all that. Sure, a swooping flower bed and unique ornamental trees are beautiful, but why stop there? Add another dimension to the entryway and your customer will have a stand-out home in the neighborhood. A refreshing element for ramping up the curb appeal factor is water. The sight and sound of water in the garden is a treasured amenity most homeowners want included in their outdoor living space. While most landscapers relegate water to the backyard, it’s equally appealing in the front yard where the home makes its first impression.
The type of water feature you choose for the front yard will be determined primarily by space and budget. A popular choice with today’s homeowner is a re-circulating fountain that can easily be tucked near the walkway leading to the front door. Bubbling rocks and overflowing urns are great options and will attract butterflies and birds, in addition to improving overall curb appeal.
The re-circulating fountain sits atop a sub-surface basin that houses a water pump. The water is pumped up through the fountain itself and overflows back into the reservoir that is covered with decorative gravel. In areas of drought, this is the perfect feature since it re-uses the water. On occasion, the basin will need to be topped off due to evaporation. A feature like this can be installed in just one afternoon and can provide a 50 percent profit margin.
Another popular water feature for the front yard is the pondless waterfall, which is simply a waterfall without a pond. Like the fountain, water is stored in an underground reservoir and re-circulated over the waterfalls. The pondless waterfall can be easily customized for front yard spaces, and is especially impressive if the walkway to the front door transcends the stream.
Both the fountain and pondless waterfall can be configured to capture, filter, and store rainwater from the home’s roof, using the RainXchange System. This rainwater harvesting system provides an added bonus since the stored rainwater can be accessed for irrigating the surrounding landscape.
For those with a little more space in the front yard, an ecosystem pond becomes a unique and memorable first impression. The pond can be small or expansive, depending on space and budget constraints. A pond in the front yard allows for unique use of plantings since you’ll be able to incorporate impressive lotus and waterlilies. Not only will beautiful birds and butterflies be attracted to the feature, but the homeowner is blessed with less grass to mow.
Designing fountains, waterfalls, and ponds into front yard landscapes helps to avoid a cookie-cutter look and makes a home’s appearance truly special. In today’s competitive market, you want to set yourself apart from other landscape service providers, and water features make it easy to do so. Plus, your customers will enjoy a soothing and relaxing water feature that welcomes them home at the end of the day and invites them to sit on the front porch for a relaxing evening.
Jennifer Zuri is marketing communications at Aquascape Inc. For more information, visit www.aquascapeinc.com.