Everybody loves a garden in summer, and it doesn’t get much more British than a layered, full and lovely garden. Furthermore, if you’re looking to sell your property at some future point, you can get great value from being in the garden and preparing it for that eventual sale. However, caution is advised because the degree of maintenance your garden requires (weekly or daily tending) could be a deal breaker as far as potential buyers are concerned. So remember that while most people enjoy pottering around the garden over weekends, relatively few are able to dedicate the time and effort that goes into keeping an elaborate garden well-manicured and shipshape all the time.
Add value to your property
If you hit all the right notes with your garden, you could add between 5 and 10 per cent to the value of your home. Here are some tips consider:
The style and period of the property and neighbourhood you live in should factor into your garden design. Low maintenance is the buzz word to bear in mind. You don’t want to be over-the-top and stock your garden with flowerbeds filled with exotic plants from everywhere but home. The great thing about indigenous gardens is they are low-maintenance and environmentally-friendly. There’s nothing wrong with putting some exotic plants in big fancy pots as focal points, but try to shy away from overstocking the beds with flowers that require a lot of trimming and tending. You’ll put off all potential buyers save the diehard gardening types.
If you live in the city, outdoor space is at a premium and what you need to consider is how you will use the garden, as well as what type of buyer your garden will attract. For instance, a family with a couple of kids will have different needs to an unmarried professional. A good lawn is always the answer. A luscious bit of lawn is great for kids to play on and for summer sunbathing in private. It’s easy to maintain and reasonably inexpensive. As it’s something that everybody loves, you’re not going to put off any buyers.
You can make your lawn the focal point and then add something else that is always popular – herbs. You can plant medicinal and culinary herbs, such as citronella, lavender, lemongrass, rosemary, sage, thyme, mint and basil. Herbs are fragrant and work well as insect repellents, so the closer you can plant them to the back door or windows the better. There’s also value to the idea of being able to pop out and just grab a handful of freshly picked basil for your pasta sauce, or mint for the lamb.
Another interesting idea is to use mirrors as focal points. You can place them against an exterior wall or your fence to make a small garden appear bigger. If you have a decent budget it’s worth considering a multi-functional inside/outside space which extends your living space into an area that is ‘one with nature’. Fitting an outside cooker, some solar lighting, lounging chairs and deck chairs, as well as patio heaters extends the amount of time you get to spend in your garden all year round.
DIY or pro?
Getting a garden designer or landscaper is well worth the cost, especially if you want to make some major changes. The designer will tell you the best ways to maximise the space you have available. Ask to see their portfolio and you’ll able to see examples of their work. Remember there are loads of photos of gardens available on property and horticultural websites, so be sure to check them out. Expect to pay in the region of around £400 for an initial consultation and plan, and from around 5% to 15% of the value of the project, depending on the size of the garden. If you’re redesigning your garden prior to putting your home on the market, it’s not a bad idea to show your plans to your estate agent, who’ll be able to advise you on the saleability of your home.