Well before the first crocus starts popping out of the earth, residents of the northern states are already thinking about the promise of spring color outside. Nature itself certainly provides a bounty of color all around. But there are a few things the regular homeowner can do to enhance the magic of spring color outside and rejuvenate the exterior of the home.
For the consummate planner, late fall is the best time to think about spring plantings. Bulbs like tulips, daffodils and crocus need to be planted before the ground freezes in order to winter over and bloom in the spring. If it’s too late to plant bulbs in the ground, they can be forced to bloom in pots or just purchase already blooming plants and transplant them into containers around the front door. Instant spring color outside!
Bushes like forsythia and lilac are other beautiful spring bloomers. When planted in the right places, they give amazing life to the exterior of a home that has been darkened by winter for too long.
There are also trees that bloom early in spring to provide color and a fresh scent. Of course, trees will take longer to mature (years in many cases), but the payoff can definitely be worth it. Dogwoods and magnolias have lovely pale white or pink blossoms that last for weeks. Redbuds offer a pop of purple to liven up a yard. Some unique specimen trees like fringe trees and fruit trees provide color as a perfect small accent to the right landscape.
If space is an issue or more landscaped areas aren’t desired, make use of the space underneath windows and really show off a selection of plants and greenery. Window boxes are available from home improvement and decorating stores in any number of styles, sizes and price points. Or they can be a great first DIY project, requiring minimal experience and tools. A quick online search for “how to build a window box” will yield a variety of plans for inspiration.
Window boxes are a simple way to plant a small selection of annuals with minimal expense and watering throughout the spring and summer seasons. Simply follow the rules of potting plants and use a thriller, a spiller and a filler to make the perfect arrangement for spring color outside. And the flowers from a window box can be visible from inside the house as well, bringing that fresh spring feeling indoors.
Bonus: Window boxes provide the perfect spot for other vignettes when decorating for Christmas (lights, ornaments and evergreens) or Halloween (pumpkins and gourds). They give year-round interest to the home’s exterior.
The two most versatile ways to introduce more color into the front of a home are through the front door and window shutters. While the main body of the home is typically more subtle, a pop of color in these spots can be so refreshing. Think grass green or robin’s egg blue to really emphasize the colors of spring.
If a new door or outdoor shutters are in the budget and necessary improvements, spring is a great time to purchase and install. They are also among the most valuable exterior home improvement projects. Otherwise, a fresh coat of paint on either can be just the refresh a home needs.