5 Ways To Add Character To Your Landscape

5 Ways To Add Character To Your Landscape

 Whether you are moving into a new home and starting from scratch or have a home with an established yard, improving your outdoor environment can add loads of charm and personality...better yet character. Let's look at few quick and easy ways amp up your exterior space. Many of them don't even require a green thumb!


Start with garden statuary. Landscape figurines or statuary add personality and instant character to your yard. Much to my mover's dismay, I insisted on bringing all of my statuary from my old house. They added an instant sense of permanence to our new home. It's always nice to have familiar things tucked into your landscape to greet you coming and going. Think of them as antiques or heirlooms for you yard. Pictured below are just a few of my  favorites.

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Outdoor Drapery

It's obvious from the header of this website that I have an affinity for awnings and outdoor drapery. They can soften your exterior, but more importantly provide much needed shade and privacy. For me, there is something beautiful, lavish and romantic about outdoor drapes. Sounds expensive, right? They can actually be quite reasonable. We purchased the panels below at Ballard Designs. I ordered extra panels and sewed them together so they would be nice and full. The key to ANY kind of drapery panel looking lush and lovely is fullness.  Also, be sure you can secure them when needed. We have a lot of wind at our house and if I didn't have the ability to swag these back when needed, they would be all over the place sometimes. These panels were installed mainly for privacy. We live in a neighborhood where the homes are very close together. These drapes enable me to enjoy my covered patio in complete privacy - totally blocking my view of the house next door.

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Treillage, trellis, garden lattice whatever you want to call it, is one of my favorite things! It has been used in and on lavish estates for centuries. Adding a garden trellis for climbing roses or vines can be so so charming. I am attaching one of my first posts Easy Garden Trellis. It is one of the first things that I added to the exterior of this house and it is definitely one of my favorites. The structure is not hard to build or install, the investment is minimal, but as you can see from below it definitely adds character. This trellis added a welcome architectural quality to an otherwise boring brick wall. It was pretty without the roses. The picture below was taken approximately a year after I planted the roses. 

We installed a copper wire trellis on our chimney. In the spring this Carolina Jasmine is awash in tiny yellow flowers. It could use a little haircut...There is some maintenance involved, so that is something to consider when growing things on your house or chimney. 

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Containers are another way for you to add instant personality. They are also great for planting annuals that change with the season or whenever the mood strikes. I love when people use unique pots flanking a doorway,  along steps that lead to a main entry or on a patio or porch. They are nice because they usually can be moved. I have several scattered around, but I have to admit I don't change them up much. Several have some variety of boxwood in the center surrounded by some white annuals. I also use ferns and caladiums when I can. I do have a lot of sun so my spots for shade loving plants is limited. I prefer a limited color palate in the garden and find that white flowers and variegated plants show up in your landscape really well. They even seem to glow in the evening. There is also the added bonus that you can simply tuck in holiday accents like American flags for July or mini pumpkins for fall or Halloween...the more neutral, the more flexible.

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Water Features

A beautiful water feature makes my heart go pitter pat. The sound of water can be so relaxing. I think many people are intimidated by the thought of adding a fountain of some sort, but adding a water feature to your garden doesn’t have to be a huge project. We added this one below with a GFI plug and 2 pails of water. It is snugged up to my porch and surrounded by annuals. It provides beauty, peace and tranquillity - nothing short of hydro therapy.

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I hope this post has inspired you to add some character to your landscape. Often forgotten, an established yard completes the picture. So while you are waiting for your boxwoods, hydrangea, roses or sod for that matter to mature, consider adding one of the above elements. It's so nice to have unexpected surprises that are often the first impression of your home.