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The Value of Your Front Yard

Federick Law Olmsted

Along with April showers comes National Landscape Architecture Month, Earth Day – celebrated on April 22 and on April 26, the birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of landscape architecture and the designer of New York's Central Park, Brooklyn's Prospect Park, the grounds of the U.S. Capitol and many other extraordinary gardens and parks though out our country. So, I thought April would be the perfect month to consider "The Value of Your Front Yard".

I wrote about the added value of landscaping to real estate in last September's Eva's Notes & News, "Does Landscaping Add Value To Your Home. However, it's worth repeating that,

"Your front yard is the face of your property. Not only does it greet you every day, it's the first thing potential buyers see should you ever decided to put your home on the market. Therefore, 'curb appeal,' isn't just a real estate catch phrase, it's a reality. According any number of studies, a well landscape property can increase it's sale price from 7% - 15%."

On the website, Landscaping, David Beaulieu, its author, makes a very important point when considering doing any kind of substantial work on your landscape:

"It's important that such decisions not be based on arbitrary ideas, or criteria overly personalized. This is not the time to get in touch with your inner self.
In making a $30,000 decision about a stock investment, you'd want hard, objective facts to guide you, right? Wouldn't you, at the very least, want to explore the ideas of others? Well, you need to seek similar advice and gather comparable facts in the matter of home landscaping design."

Six Tips To Consider Before You Start Digging

  1. Consult with a professional landscape designer – that's me
  2. Observe what other people are doing and pick their brain
  3. Check out magazines, books, TV and the Web
  4. Consult with your local nursery
  5. Talk to your local real estate agent or the agent who sold you your house
  6. Save money, water and our environment and consider a sustainable approach using native, drought-tolerant and low-maintenance plants

Front Yard Facelift: Before & After

Front Yard Before Front Yard After Before After Before After

Garden Consultation

If you'd like to set up a phone consultation or arrange a site inspection of your garden, now is the time to give a call (323-461-6556) or email me. In addition to my work as a landscape designer and contractor, I love giving advice and have provided garden consultations to any number of folks with great results.

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Plant Of The Month

California Poppy

California Poppy

As the official state flower of California the California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) is pictured on welcome signs along highways entering California. April 6 is designated California Poppy Day.

It was selected as the state flower by the California State Floral Society in December 1890, winning out over the Mariposa lily (genus Calochortus) and the Matilija poppy (Romneya coulteri) by a landslide, but the state legislature did not make the selection official until 1903. Its golden blooms were deemed a fitting symbol for the Golden State.

Best grown in full sun and sandy, well-drained, poor soil, the poppy can grow 5–60 cm tall, with alternately branching glaucous blue-green foliage.

California Poppy

The flowers are solitary on long stems, silky-textured, with four petals, each petal 2–6 cm long and broad; their color ranges from yellow to orange, and flowering is from February to September. The petals close at night or in cold, windy weather and open again the following morning, although they may remain closed in cloudy weather.


Horticulturists have produced numerous cultivars with various other colors and blossom and stem forms. These typically do not breed true on reseeding. Seeds are often sold as mixtures.

Medicinal Uses

California poppy leaves were used medicinally by Native Americans, and the pollen was used cosmetically. The following are a list of some of its herbal uses:

  • Gentle in effect, the major health properties of the California poppy are sedative, analgesic and antispasmodic in action.
  • The most common use of this herb is in diffusion for treating the various physical and psychological conditions including insomnia, bedwetting (incontinence), anxiety and nervous tension, particularly in children.
  • Because of its sedative properties, it has been used in the treatment of behavioral disorders such as ADD, ADHD in children and young adults. In addition this herb has also been proven to improve intellectual capacity, memory and concentration in the elderly.
  • California poppy has been used as an herbal treatment for tooth pain. The odontalgic properties are found in the root of the plant, which is cut and applied directly to the affected area.
  • As a tincture, it is used for its antimicrobial properties applied externally to cuts and scrapes.
  • As an analgesic and antispasmodic, these properties have been found useful in the relief of acute nerve and muscular centered pain. It has been used as a remedy in cases of high fever, rapid pulse and persistent spasmodic cough.
  • A tincture made from the root of California poppy can be prepared as an external wash for suppressing lactation (the production of milk) in breast-feeding women.


For more information on please check out Wikipedia, which is the resource for this material and The Herbal Resource.

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