That’s why homeowners associations often have exacting rules about landscaping.

And it’s not just HOAs that care. Most home buyers seek landscaping that adds “functionality and resale value,” rather than “frills and lifestyle,” according to the National Association of Home Builders recent “What Home Buyers Really Want” report.

Good landscaping can add up to 28% to the overall value of a house, says landscape economist John Harris, and cut its time on the market 10% to 15%. Even taking your landscaping to the next level, upgrading from “good” to “excellent,” in terms of design, condition, and placement, can add 6% to 7% to a home’s value, according to a Clemson University study.

But don’t landscape merely to flip a house. You won’t get your money back, Sandy MacCuish, a California appraiser, tells us. Instead landscape for your enjoyment (Did you know trees reduce stress in just 5 minutes?), knowing that you’re making a good investment.