HGTV's John Gidding says this new curb appeal movement will entirely change how we landscape our yards

People now want more from their curb appeal – and it goes far beyond aesthetics. Here's how John recommends future-proofing your space

John Gidding
(Image credit: ScottsMiracle-Gro Greenprints x John Gidding)

As the star of HGTV's Curb Appeal, it is inevitable that John Gidding is an expert in exactly that: improving curb appeal. However, for the first time in his career, he's observing a shift in the way we decorate our front yards – and it involves much more than good looks. 

'Up until now, curb appeal has mostly been an aesthetic thing, focused on how the home looks. However, recently, it’s become a representation of what's going on inside the house as well,' John explains exclusively with H&G

'The values of the people inside the home are now implied in their curb appeal.' So, how can we ensure our decorating choices reflect the right values in the world? The key, according to John, is native plants. 

'The most impactful way that homeowners can improve their curb appeal these days is by moving towards native plants,' he says. 'The homes that install an eco-conscious landscape today are going to have values accrued to them tomorrow. It’s the perfect solution because they are attractive to pollinators, and they add visual interest.'

hop vine in porch Issaquah, Washington

(Image credit: Janet Horton/Alamy Stock Photo)
John Gidding-designed front door
John Gidding

Turkish-American designer and Harvard graduate John Gidding is best known as a presenter on Curb Appeal, in which he and his team spend $20,000 on improvements to a front yard. He was also one of the expert judges on the Fox TV show Home Free and has recently relaunched the Curb Appeal Xtreme on HGTV. 

Naturally, native plants have their sustainable qualities, making them an emerging leader in 'garden trends' – but this movement is designed to be affordable and versatile enough to work in yards of all sizes.

'There's a different energy to this new movement of front yard landscaping that is not just eco-conscious but also budget-conscious – because you're going to use less water into the future,' John says. And, while aesthetics are no longer the only factor on the agenda, they are, of course, still important. However, native plants tick the good-looking box, too. 

'Before, when working with just lawns and shrubs, there wasn't as much to work with. Yet, by selecting the shrubs and the trees, you can express a bit of personality. But when you're using an entirely new palette of native plants to design with, it's almost like a more volumetric design,' John comments. 

'Because these plants look so different over seasons, it just adds another element of design, and homeowners love being able to express themselves in as many different ways as possible.'

planting design with succulents and gravel

(Image credit: Jacky Hobbs/Future)

With its abundance of benefits considered, it's unsurprising that naturalistic planting design is the future for our yards and front porches – but how can we begin to get involved? Of course, John has this covered, too. 

'I created green prints (like a blueprint, but green) in partnership with Scotts Miracle-Gro. The point is to educate, inspire, and be a team member for people who want to transform their lawns into something completely more dynamic and vibrant,' he says.

'We hope people are inspired by these prints and take them in any direction they want. That's what I love about native plants. They offer homeowners the opportunity to express their personality, which everyone is always looking for ways to do.'

For more more advice on creating an eco-friendly garden, we're looking to John's book, available via Amazon below. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.