Top Five Gardening Tips for D.C., Virginia, and Maryland Homeowners

Glad to see I’m not alone! According to a December 2020 survey by Craftsman Tools, 27% of homeowners overhauled their gardens in 2020 and 19% plan to tackle an outdoor improvement project in 2021.

My whole family has been busy making our garden and yard more of a priority recently. We are on a mission to create outdoor living spaces that can be enjoyed by neighbors, friends and family.

My top 5 gardening tips include:

  1. Have a plan
  2. Buy native plants
  3. Use contrasting colors to excite the eye
  4. Recognize when you need help
  5. Enjoy the journey. Respecting the land and nurturing it is one of the best ways to appreciate and maximize the beauty of your home.

Have a plan

It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but coming up with a strategy for your yard and garden can save money and time. Make sure you consider how large those shrubs will grow and space them out accordingly. Consider animals like deer that frequent your yard before investing in flowers that are not deer-resistant. Think about sun requirements for the plants, and further, natural shade and privacy goals for you and your family.

Buy native plants

Did you know that most native plants require little to no fertilizers and pesticides (both of which negatively impact our water supply)? Native plants also tend to withstand the environment better than non-native plants, allowing them to withstand harsh weather and grow back the following year. 

There are a lot of resources online to find native plants and native plant nurseries:

Use contrasting colors

My kids help add color to our garden each year by planting seeds and bulbs with my father-in-law. Our garden continues to grow, and they find joy in seeing their hard work pay off.

We went for a walk the other day around our property in Hollin Hills to admire it. It’s beautiful here in the spring. The red buds pop, the azaleas bloom, and the grass hasn’t burnt out yet! The greens, purples, magentas and yellows are rich and the contrast notable.

As you plan our your garden, consider planting various colorful perennial flowers, woody plants and herbaceous perennials.

Recognize when you need help

Planting is one thing. Maintaining your corner of this world is quite another. And while its commendable to those that do it themselves, lawn services are a great backup plan to help with:

  • Aeration
  • Seeding
  • Fertilization
  • Grub prevention and control
  • Pre-emergent and targeted weed control
  • Mowing
  • and more…

I also have found innovations like autonomous mowers and weeding robots interesting, though I need to do some more research on the topic. Check out the WSJ article, These High-Tech Garden Tools Will Do Your Yard Work for You, to learn more.

Good luck and enjoy!

Good luck with your landscaping journey—I can’t wait to see what you accomplish.

Sean Vann

Sean Vann, Realtor in Washington D.C., Virginia and Maryland

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