By definition, home landscaping, means arranging or modifying the features of the grounds around a home to improve the property from the standpoint of aesthetic ideas and/or practical usage. Ideas for practical improvements should not be difficult to arrive at: you yourself have been living and gardening on this property, and no one knows the deficiencies of its landscape design better than you. Perhaps there are garden areas desperately in need of improved drainage, for instance. Or there may be large trees near your home that need to be limbed. But it may be difficult to arrive at a firm idea of just how to improve a property aesthetically.
The very first question that you have to ask yourself is this: Do I plan on staying on this property forever, or will I be placing it in a real estate listing at some point? This is no question to scoff at. Answering the question will clarify your priorities and help establish an overarching idea for your home landscaping projects. If you are home landscaping for yourself as a lifelong resident on the property, you need only consult your own tastes. But if your property is fated to be a real estate listing, you need to think in terms of "curb appeal": You are essentially landscaping for other people's tastes -- namely, the tastes of potential real estate buyers, which is the subject of Page 2.
But this much can be said right away: as in other aspects of your life, some of the best home landscaping decisions result from learning what not to do. Excited at the prospect of starting with a blank slate, some do it yourselfers commit themselves to the idea that they will begin a home landscaping makeover by removing a large tree from their landscape. The American Nursery & Landscape Association, however, points out how bad an idea this can be:
"In one study, 83% of Realtors believe that mature trees have a 'strong or moderate impact' on the salability of homes listed for under $150,000; on homes over $250,000, this perception increases to 98% (Source: 'American Forests, Arbor National Mortgage')."
On Page 2 let's look at some strategies for acquiring information about enhancing real estate value through home landscaping....