STRUGGLING to sell your house? The garden might be the key.
According to research from Homebase, two-fifths of home buyers say that a well-kept garden is a priority when choosing a home.
With people staying longer in each property the average garden has had £1,790 of investment in it over the years – a total of £80 billion across the UK. The DIY chain will be exhibiting at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show and offering lots of ideas about how you can make the most of your patch of earth.
Here, Homebase spokesperson Matthew Compton suggests ten top tips for making your garden beautiful – and maximising the selling potential of your home.
1 Green, Green Grass
There’s nothing like fresh grass under your feet on a nice summer’s day, so no wonder the lawn is the number one priority for one in three people when looking at prospective homes. The humble grass is now much more than a decorative feature, with 15 per cent of Brits using the lawn as a child’s play area and the same number using the lawn as a makeshift exercise space. .
2 BLOSSOMING CHARACTER
Whether it’s a flourishing fruit tree or an ornamental Acer, trees can bring a lot of character to a garden. With one in five homeowners choosing trees as one of their top requirements for a garden, it is definitely an addition worth considering. Homeowners planning on introducing trees into their gardens need to take the trees’ maintenance and potential size into account as large trees can affect drains and house foundations.
3 IT’S A PLANT LIFE
Plants are the life and soul of the garden, introducing colour, volume and texture into a potentially boring flower bed or planter. One fifth of people are initially attracted to the plants in a garden of a perspective home, meaning eye-catching greenery is definitely something every garden needs. If you don’t know where to begin, the Garden on a Roll product is a great starter kit, whatever your garden size.
4 Flower Power
It goes without saying that the English rose bush is the nation’s top garden flower. However, it is important to coordinate the types of flowers you have with the look you are trying to achieve. The Homebase plant finder www.getintogardening.co.uk/get-advice/plant-finder/ is perfect for planning which flowers will suit your space.
5 SHED AND SECURE
One in five men specifically look for a shed in a garden when considering a new home. They act as both a secure storage area as well as a perfect getaway from the house to carry out hobbies and read the paper. With one third of Britons concerned about garden equipment theft, it is ideal to have that extra storage area which can be locked, especially if the house doesn’t have a garage.
Creating a secluded spot in your garden offers both privacy from nosy neighbours and the illusion of being in your own little world. With 51 per cent of Britons favouring sunbathing as a summer garden pastime it is a real bonus to be able to block out those prying eyes for an afternoon of sun worship and any other activity that may take your fancy. Hedges are simple to grow and maintain as well as being great for creating a natural habitat for those hedgerow birds.
7 WILD GOINGS-ON
With wildlife programmes sparking our interest in British garden beasties, it is important to consider how you can encourage the wild and wonderful into your garden. For one in nine Britons, watching what goes on below the shrubs and up in the trees is just as important as which flowers are in bloom. Introducing bird feeders and log piles are a must.
8 A Taste of the Good Life
Vegetable patches are very much in demand, with one in ten homeowners having them as a priority when looking for a new home. They are a great moneysaver (once established) and a brilliant way of eating the best seasonal fruit and vegetables.
9 Life Aquatic
Ponds are a great way of adding a new dimension to any garden and can create a whole new wildlife habitat for all those water-bound beasts. Introducing a pond to a garden can be hard work but the end benefits outweigh all the labour that goes into creating it.
10 GARDEN FURNITURE
Creating an outdoor living space is quickly becoming the answer for homeowners not wanting to upscale their homes but needing that extra space for summer parties and alfresco dining. Introducing a decked or paved area in one section of your garden is an effective way of creating the illusion of space.