Sprucing up the Garden…Handy Tips

When it is time to sell, it is critical to have the gardens looking as good as possible – the outdoor area is one of the first impressions buyers have of your property, and if this is looking a little ordinary, or even worse – shabby, they may not even get out of the car.

Improving the appearance of the front of the home, even on a minimal budget, can make the home look more inviting.  Below are some tips on giving your garden an immediate (mostly) budget-friendly makeover.

  1. Take a picture:

The first time most buyers will take notice of your house is when they spot it online, and the front of the house is often the first picture they will see.

Viewing your property in person is quite different from seeing it in photographs, so grab your phone and take a picture of the front of your house.  Now look at it objectively as if seeing it for the first time; look at it through the eyes of a buyer. Does it look appealing? Does the garden obscure architectural features? Does it make the house look small? Does it look untidy?

  1. Prune and tidy

Many home buyers do not want to do a lot of upkeep for the garden, so make sure it looks tidy and easy to maintain.  Inspect your shrubs and see where they can be trimmed to create the best shape. Large shrubs can reduce the visual impact of the facade and can lead to the impression that the property is of a smaller size and lesser value.

Remove any tree branches hanging over roofs and gutters and pull down any invading vines. Thoroughly weed the borders and dig a designated perimeter around garden beds or use bricks, pavers, rocks or even garden edging from your local hardware shop to create a tidy, defined edge.  Spread bark mulch around plants and over-exposed soil for an eye-pleasing finish.

  1. Brighten up dark areas

Dark, dank areas in the garden are unappealing and can make buyers feel that there are problems to be solved or work to be done.  With a little thought these areas can be easily remodelled and even be turned into a feature by hanging a hammock, adding outdoor furniture or even installing a fountain.

To brighten up dark or plain areas, try planting variegated perennials, such as hosta, cordyline and caladiums as the white or colourful edges on the leaves brighten up any dark garden zones.  You could also create a lush tropical feature garden with soft-foliaged ferns, traveller palms and birds-nest ferns.

  1. Plant feature pots

Large tubs spilling over with lush and colourful flowers are so appealing to the eye. They create an impression of a well-loved and well-maintained garden. Best of all, you can take them with you when you move.  Plant some bright annuals such as petunias and snapdragons in the summer sunlight and impatiens in the shade. In cooler months plant lobelia, pansies and polyanthus.

  1. Get the lawn into shape

Improving a lawn will add a lot of value and is well worth the time and financial investment. Depending on your timeframe, you can fix a patchy lawn by either planting seed or laying turf. Planting seed is best tackled in spring. It involves killing any existing weeds, and either digging up the surface or spreading new soil over the top and then planting and watering the seeds. This process will take a few months to establish a healthy lush lawn.

  1. Lay a new lawn

If time is more pressing, you can unroll turf onto a properly prepared lawn base for instant impact. Ensure you choose the right type of grass for your lawn’s position, and your climate zone. Among the choices is the durable Kikuyu, which is suitable for poor soil areas drenched in sunlight. Couch is soft and fine and has vigorous underground runners, while Buffalo has wide blades and is robust and easy to maintain.  Speak to your local lawn care specialist for the best option to suit your lawn’s position.

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