It’s worth the investment of time and money to get your yard looking sharp and beautiful. People often point to a fresh coat of paint when they discuss curb appeal, but landscaping is another important element to sprucing up your home’s look.

HGTV estimates that “attractive and well-maintained landscaping can add as much as 10 percent to the value of your home.”

If you have big ideas in store for a garden or landscape with features like a pond, you’ll want to start sooner, and have a plan. Make sure that you consult a professional landscaper and get an estimate that you can afford.

If you’re more interested in sprucing up your lanscaping, here are some good places to start:

  1. Buy fancy pots and place them strategically near the entrance and exit. Tall ceramic pots with green, leafy plants really make a statement when they catch buyers’ eyes near the front and back doors of your home. They’ll spark ideas for those dreaming of what they can do with your yard.
  2. Add fresh mulch or pea gravel. When was the last time you touched up the walkway? Fresh bark mulch or gravel can breathe new life into a landscape for a price that won’t break your bank.
  3. Plant flowers. The brighter the better! Annuals are relatively inexpensive and can really transform a dull yard to a vibrant garden full of color. Plant them in raised beds, along the house, in window planters, or in hanging baskets on your deck. They’ll add a pop to your house that onlookers won’t be able to resist!
  4. Trim the trees and hedges. Now is a good time to prune any wild or overgrown shrubs, hedges or trees. The key here is that your yard looks like it’s been well-taken care of and is being maintained.
  5. Clean water features. Remove algae, rust, dead leaves, pond scum and any other floating impurities that might attract sideways glances or worse, flies and other insects. Make sure any water features are in good condition and have fresh, clean water in them.
  6. Power wash. Make grimy, stained surfaces clean and bright with a good high-powered hose-down. This is a great idea for decks, patios, and walkways.
  7. Label plants. Once you’ve weeded your garden and made neat rows of plantings, consider labeling your plants.
  8. Make sure your irrigation system is in tip-top shape. If there are any issues with the sprinkler system, now is the time to fix them.