With spring having officially sprung, so has the time for gardening. Not everyone has the enviable natural ability to plant and maintain a beautiful and luscious garden, but that doesn’t mean it’s totally hopeless for those without a green thumb. Gardening can be therapeutic by allowing one to get lost in thought and the beauty that they are creating out of nature, and it can also increase your home’s curb appeal.

We’ve all heard how important first impressions are, and curb appeal is your home’s first impression to potential buyers. According to Scotts.com, “lawn and landscape elements can complement and frame your house to create a unique look” known as curb appeal. Adding curb appeal not only brings in potential buyers, but it also increases the resale value of your home. HGTV.com states, “an attractive and well-maintained landscape can add as much as 10 percent to the value of your home.” If you are planning to put your house on the market, adding some more flowers and shrubbery and making sure your lawn and outward appearance of your home is as polished as possible, will definitely be a bonus. However, it’s not something that you should decide to do right as you are actively listing your house.

A well maintained exterior and mature and manicured landscaping doesn’t happen overnight, it is something that must be polished and updated throughout the life of your stay to ensure the best outcome. HGTV.com goes on to say that “the time to get started cleaning up your yard is about a month before you plan on showing your house.” That month will give you the time needed to ensure that any changes or enhancements made will be done with enough time to not leave your potential buyers with the impression that you waited until the last minute. Some easy ways to spruce up your home are to buy some brightly colored flowers, either annuals or perennials, and adding a fresh coat of paint to all outside fixtures – even think about painting your front door a bright color that ties in with the exterior look of the rest of the home! By adding the pops of color in your yard and to the house’s physical appearance, you are making your home look fresh, and new, and inviting. It will also be more likely that any possible buyers will notice your home over the other less colorful ones in the neighborhood.

If you aren’t chomping at the bit to list your home, but want start increasing your home’s curb appeal now, then great! To truly manicure a lawn takes a great deal more time than a month – especially if you want your home to have mature shrubs without shoveling out the money on buying already full-grown shrubbery. It also takes time for roots to truly take hold and establish a strong root system. Maintaining your home’s exterior appearance even when you are not actively about to list your home can also increase the market value of the surrounding homes, and thus making it more likely that when you do go to sell that you will receive a higher offer. “A home’s proximity to a bad neighbor also can impact the rate of potential decline in value,” states the Appraisal Institute.

Maintaining your home’s landscaping doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds. According to moving.com, “regularly car(ing) for your lawn by mowing the grass, raking off leaves, and pulling weeds” as well as keeping your grass watered to “prevent brown spots” can go a long way in increasing your house’s curb appeal. You don’t have to dish out big bucks to put in an extensive garden, especially if you decide to keep your lawn and garden maintained throughout your time in that home. This way you are able to purchase small shrubs or trees and allow them the time necessary to mature into their full size. A good way to keep the cost down, is to invest in shrubs and perennials to avoid having to replace a bulk of your landscaping every year.

Spending even a few minutes or hours on your home’s outward appearance and landscaping can go a long way in increasing your home’s current or future resale value. It will also undoubtedly leave you feeling satisfied at the work you’ve put into your home to make it look beautiful.