Located on the Sunshine State’s Atlantic Coast, Jacksonville is home to diverse landscapes: beautiful woodlands, marshes, waterways, and beaches that give it its unique charm. As a resident of The River City, you might be interested in bringing the city’s beauty into your own yard to raise your property value. One way to do that is by improving your landscaping. What are the landscaping trends that will increase the value of your Jacksonville property this year?
Plants and Greenery
Our leafy friends are your landscaping’s bread and butter, sprucing up even the smallest of gardens. Called the softscape, you can approach the plants and grasses in your landscaping in many ways, and some of these methods go hand-in-hand. This section will talk about these Jacksonville plant trends for landscaping:
Pioneered by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension, the Florida-Friendly Landscaping (FFL) Program is a set of principles that are gaining traction among Floridians, including Jax residents. Following FFL principles not only beautifies your yard and raises the value of your home; it also helps protect the native flora and fauna of the Sunshine State.
Some of the principles are good gardening practices in their own right, such as mulching, fertilizing appropriately, watering efficiently, and managing yard pests responsibly, but some of them might be new to you. A good way to summarize the FFL program is conscious decision-making that leads to hardier yards, healthier wildlife populations, and less environmental waste.
If you want to get in on Florida-Friendly Landscaping, you can look for native plants in local nurseries after assessing your yard and the area you live in. It might be helpful to look for plants and grass types that thrive in USDA Hardiness Zones 8B and 9A, which Jacksonville is a part of. Here are a few plants that do well in Jacksonville:
- Oak trees
- Coral bean
- Southern magnolia
- Winged elm
Florida-Friendly Landscaping promotes the “right plant, right place” principle, which basically means picking plants that will thrive in your garden’s conditions. Most often, this means nurturing native trees, flowers, and other plants that are used to higher soil salt levels, absorb lots of water from the soil, or are drought tolerant, depending on where in Jacksonville you live.
By introducing native plants into your yard, you’ll also provide local wildlife with valuable food sources and places to hide. These plants are also typically lower maintenance than plants that aren’t native to the region.
Low-maintenance landscaping often pairs well – and is a delightful effect of – following FFL principles. Keeping your garden in tip-top shape will be easier not just for you but also for any potential home buyers in the future. Yards that don’t need a lot of upkeep will raise your property value!
One of the best ways to have a low-maintenance yard is by grouping plants with similar water and light needs together. It’s a part of FFL’s “right plant, right place” principle, too. Grouping plants with similar needs means you’re less likely to kill plants by overwatering, underwatering, too much sun exposure, or too little sun exposure. You can place plants that love water beneath downspouts, so you don’t have to water them as often.
Before planting, you should also take your plants’ mature sizes into account to cut down on pruning. If you want plants near your windows, opt for plants that are on the shorter side once they’re fully grown so that you don’t have to trim them down to maintain an unobstructed view.
Xeriscaping is a landscaping technique that creates low-maintenance yards by using drought-tolerant plants and water-efficient irrigation systems. While you may not have a lush, green lawn if you go the xeriscaping route, your yard can still look beautiful and striking with the right decorations.
Many plants that do well in a xeriscape tend to be succulents, and they can come in different shapes and sizes. Make sure you have some variation so that your front yard doesn’t look too uniform.
Another trend that has sprung up is the addition of edible plants in the garden. It started gaining traction during the COVID-19 pandemic and is a good step to make your yard more sustainable. You don’t have to prepare new garden beds or planters for these edible plants, as it’s becoming more popular to nestle them in between your ornamentals. A few edible plants that you can plant on your Jacksonville property are:
- Vegetables, like cherry tomatoes
- Herbs, like rosemary
Privacy and Hardscaping
You shouldn’t neglect your hardscaping when it comes to landscaping. Having a yard that’s safe from prying eyes is something that a lot of homebuyers look for. There are a few ways to achieve this small luxury and transform your backyard into a beautiful getaway, boosting your property value at the same time.
This section covers:
Outdoor Living Spaces
More and more homeowners are adding outdoor living spaces to their yards in the form of a deck or patio. Most often, these are simple spaces where you can spend time with your family, but you can go all out and add an outdoor kitchen and dining area, too. Adding an outdoor living space raises your property value because it adds to the home’s square footage of usable space.
However, you don’t need to add any new structures. You can give your existing patio or deck a makeover with repairs, new furniture, and added plants and still boost property value.
Fences can help your backyard feel more exclusive, private, and safe. You don’t have to stick with the traditional white picket fence, either. There are many more options to choose from, like darker-colored fences, privacy panels, and horizontal fences. If you want a softer look, you can go with outdoor curtains – although they won’t make your home more secure. You can even opt for a natural privacy screen with fast-growing shrubs and vertical gardens.
Vertical gardens are multi-purpose. They use otherwise dead space, bring more color into your landscaping, accent a wall or fence, and can even house edible plants. They can also cover ugly areas and give you some much-needed privacy if they’re tall enough. Just make sure the supporting structure is strong enough to hold the plants you’ll be nurturing.
Water and Fire Features
Although swimming pools seem like a must-have in humid, subtropical Jacksonville, there are other water features that you can add to your landscape to boost property value, as well. You can add fountains and bird baths, the latter of which doubles as an animal-friendly attraction.
You can also go the opposite route and add a fire feature instead, like a firepit. This can make for a cozy nighttime nook for you and your guests (or the new homeowners after you sell) and extend your backyard’s usable season into winter (although it rarely gets too cold in North Florida).
Aside from native plants, there are more wildlife-attracting features that can benefit your landscape. Who doesn’t like winged visitors to their garden? Seeing nature in action can be calming for some people, and it can make your home feel more welcoming. Pollinators like birds, bees, and butterflies can also help your landscape plants stay bright and beautiful.
Here are some animal-friendly features you can add to your property:
- Bird fountain
- Bird feeder
- Pollinator garden
- Bee house
- Fish pond
In these trying times, more people are turning their homes into calming spaces. One way Jax homeowners have done this is by adding mindful additions to their landscapes. These mindful additions give the eye more variation to look at, lighten the atmosphere, and soothe the soul.
Creating a calming atmosphere can be as simple as adding soft and warm elements, like string lights and additional lounging spots. You can add a hammock or similar seating arrangements. Hanging plants and plants around your front door will also help your home feel more inviting to guests and potential buyers.
Like the rest of the Sunshine State, Jacksonville landscaping is pretty much a year-round affair. For most of the year, Jax residents experience warm temperatures with the occasional cold snap, so most plants need to be cared for throughout the year.
Aside from a business license, Floridian landscapers can operate without any additional permits or licenses. However, if you’re hiring someone to fertilize your yard or use pesticides, you should check for the appropriate licenses for chemical use.
Jacksonville certainly presents a few challenges when it comes to landscaping. The soil is saltier than in most other places, its temperatures are warmer, and it’s prone to drought. Non-native plants – especially those not used to similar conditions – will definitely have trouble thriving, so you might want to consider planting native flora instead.
Beautify Your Jacksonville Landscaping
Real estate agents will tell you that having good curb appeal leaves a lasting first impression that can win over potential buyers. Even if you’re not planning to sell your house anytime soon, having a beautiful landscape is a wise investment for the future. Are you ready to have the landscape of your dreams? It’s best to contact a landscaping pro to ensure your landscape design fits your home and your family. Contact a Jacksonville landscaping service to bring your yard to life and increase your property value today.