As we move into the warmer months, an attractive garden is one of the most important assets when it comes to selling or renting out your home.
A survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors found that a well-presented garden can add up to 20% to the value of a property. The same research showed that 75% of people would pay more for a property with a well-maintained garden.
And a study by Gardening Express on rental values found that properties with well-kept gardens rent for up to 20% more than those without.
Gardens have of course always been important but never more so than during Covid when people especially valued having an accessible open space as an extension of the home.
When it comes to selling or renting properties, first impressions count and can set you apart from the competition, so it’s definitely worth making your garden a priority.
We’ve put together a list of top tips to help if you are a prospective seller or a landlord looking to make your garden as good-looking as possible.
Of course, you may simply be an occupier who wants to enjoy the spring and summer in a more aesthetically pleasing outdoor space.
Either way, read on for some cost effective, easy to implement and environmentally friendly ways to optimise your ‘green appeal’.
PLAN: Start with a plan, whether it’s a rough sketch on paper or, if you are tech savvy, a full-on 3D design package. Mapping out the extent of the garden and existing features will help you decide on things like how much compost you need, where your choice of plants are best situated and how separate areas will relate to each other in context. It’s a great way to help envisage how the garden will look from different vantage points. Don’t be downhearted if you only have a small garden – any space can be improved with a little imagination and effort. Remember that a front garden, if you have one, will help form that vital first impression for a prospective buyer or tenant and so needs to look welcoming and attractive.
RESEARCH: There are many websites such as Gumtree and Freecycle where you can source all manner of free or very cheap garden items. You could also explore online neighbourhood forums and ask if people might be willing to swap plants, pots and tools. For comparison you could visit one of the many gardens open to the public under the National Garden Scheme. There is bound to be one near you. When you see what other people have in their gardens, there’s every chance you can be inspired to seek out what will work best for you.
BEDS: Consider the groupings of plants carefully so that you can create lots of colourful displays. The general recommendation is to put the tallest plants at the back, mid-size in the centre and have the shortest nearest the front. You can also change the shape of your flower beds, perhaps swapping straight edges for more interesting curves.
SEEDS AND CUTTINGS: Instead of buying flowering plants that are already grown, you can save money by planting from seed. The spring is the time to get sowing. You can also take cuttings from the existing favourites in your garden, so spreading the appeal of the plants you already have.
LOOK AND FEEL: Freshen up structures such as fences or sheds. A bright lick of paint will revitalise them if they have begun to look tired or shabby. If you want an original look and feel, you can repurpose containers such as bottles, mugs, buckets and even sinks as unusual plant pots. As long as you have appropriate soil and drainage, many plants will grow in and through the most bizarre of items. You can source old wooden pallets from various places that can be used to build fantastic raised beds and planters. Pallets are often given away for free by businesses that have no immediate use for them so ask around at, for example, furniture and equipment shops, construction sites and building companies.
BIODIVERSITY: As concern over climate change continues to grow, more and more prospective buyers and tenants will want reassurance that your garden is environmentally friendly. If you keep some weeds, rather than dig them all up, you will help sustain insect life by maintaining essential sources of nectar and pollen. In the same vein, a lawn that has some long grass and wild flowers on it is far better for the environment than one cut to within a millimetre of its life.
VEG: Growing your own vegetables, fruit or herbs is a great way to demonstrate the viability of the garden and show environmental awareness. Again, it ischeaper to grow produce from seed than buy established plants.
These are just a few of the ways you can help your garden look fabulous, work better and be more environmentally friendly without breaking the bank. We hope they give you some food for thought about the potential for enjoyment whether just for you or for prospective buyers or tenants.
For more information on how Chinneck Shaw can help you as a seller or a landlord, visit our ‘Sell’ pages or ‘Let’ pages.