Curb Appeal in Boca Raton Landscape Design

by Pamela Crawford

Renovating a front yard landscape should accomplish two goals:

1. To make your house look better, i.e. curb appeal

2. To make you smile when you pull up the drive!

I designed each of these Boca Raton landscapes to achieve both goals.

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The ‘Before’ photo, above, shows a nice home on a rather plain lot. The owners liked bold tropical plants. Now, look at just the house in the ‘Before’ photo, and compare it with just the house in the ‘After’ photo. The new landscapes makes the house look better, and fills the client’s needs for a bold, tropical look.

boca-raton-landscape-563-pamela-crawfordThis house (located in the Seasons neighborhood in Boca Raton) had the opposite problem from the one above it. The best architectural feature is the entry, which was covered by vegetation. We moved the palms and replaced them with clean-lined plants that the client liked. Now, look at just the house in the ‘Before’ and ‘After again. Once again, the house itself looks quite a bit better with the new landscape.

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The owner of this house (above) is an artist. She loved bold colors, but wanted a long-lasting, low maintenance garden as well. The ‘Before’ photo shows forlorn plantings jammed up against the house. The ‘After’ photo shows bright-colored plants that are brought out from the house  to make the house (and yard) appear larger. Look how much better the house looks in the ‘After’ shot.

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These plants represent the results of my research to find the most colorful plants that last the longest with the least amount of care. Cocoplum forms the green hedge against the house. Mammey crotons form the next layer, with bright orange and red leaves. ‘Gold Mound’ duranta, with it’s lime green leaves, really make the croton color pop. White-flowered ‘Odorata’ begonias and wart ferns line the drive. These plants will give the home owner many, many years of enjoyment with little care.

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Variegated white agaves form the front focal point, surrounded by purple queen.

Penola before and afterThe owner of this home (located east of the intracoastal, off Palmetto Park, in Boca Raton) wanted green plants that would give his home an old world look. I suggested a low wall along his front property line and traditional shutters around the windows. We then planted palms (queen palms, which we no longer plant because of disease problems) to line the drive and traditional vines along the front wall. In order to make the green plants show up, I used plants with very different sizes of leaves, from the large-leaved elephant ears next to the house to the tiny leaves of the jasmine on the fence. Once again, look at how good the house looks in the ‘After’ photo, compared with the ‘Before.’

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This home in the Old Floresta neighborhood had quite a bit of valuable, native vegetation that was already existing when the house was built. The builder sited the home so that most of the beautiful oaks and sabal palm could be saved. My job was to accent the native palette with colorful, tropical plants that the owner loved. I was really careful to design this project so that the new plants had a real sense of fitting in with the existing landscape.

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This Mediterranean home had a tiny garden with a path that was too narrow. I re-designed the path, added planters at the entry, and planted pretty flowering plants along the path. Sometimes it doesn’t take too much change to really make an impact!

It is very important to me that my designs reflect the style and tastes of the owners of these homes – as well as the character of their neighborhood and existing plantings that should remain – rather than simply my taste. I was educated to design in any landscape style rather than having all my projects look the same.

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A flower garden in Boca Raton! The owner of this home in the Oakbrook section of Boca West wanted a traditional flower garden to replace the existing vegetation. The large, Ficus benjamina tree planted in the front island was destroying her driveway and a real hazard to her home in high winds. This species of Ficus was one of the worst trees for property destruction in our last hurricanes, and shouldn’t be located within falling distance of a home. The ficus was replaced by three Japanese fern trees. Flowering plants include Ruellia ‘Katie’ (no longer planted because it was found to be invasive), cranberry pentas, and golden shrimp plants.

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The client in this home in the Lake Rogers neighborhood of Boca Raton wanted a flower garden that attracts butterfies in her front yard as well. I recommended adding lattice to the front of the house to complement the traditional look. Blue porterflowers,  pentas, lantana, and blue daze are planted at the base of the palms. Pentas and salvia are planted on the other side of the walk.

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This house in the Sanctuary of Boca Raton was purchased by an investor to flip. Curb appeal is necessary to sell a house. When a prospective buyer pulls up to the front of the house and gets a negative first impression, they won’t buy the house. The first step in any staging is to remove eyesores that can create that negative impression. The ugly palms that blocked the view of the house were the first thing to go.  I added attactive palms and underplantings on either side of the front door. The driveway island was planted with clean-lined color and fresh sod. No expensive plants were used. The goal is to remove eyesores and replace them with attractive, inexpensive, colorful plants. The house sold in 4 days!

boca-raton-landscape-127-pamela-crawfordThis client from the Polo Club in Boca Raton wanted a mimimalistic look for their front yard. Instead of using a lot of plants, the gravel is the focal point.

boca-raton-landscape-027a-boca-ratonThe gravel formed the major design element. I used two colors for contrast.

Renovating the landscape of your front yard is fast and easy. And the results are dramatic! In many instances, the results look like your entire house was renovated!

Pamela Crawford designs landscapes in Palm Beach County, Florida. You can view her work at pamela-crawford.com. Contact her at 561-371-2719 or pamela@pamela-crawford.com. This article is appropriate  throughout Pamela’s service area, including Boca Raton landscapes, town of Palm Beach landscapes, Palm Beach Gardens landscapes, Jupiter landscapes, and Wellington landscapes.