Now spring has (almost) sprung and we move into slightly warmer months, it is a great time to improve the look of the exterior of your home, specifically your garden.
When it comes to putting their home on the market, many sellers focus on the interior; tidying, cleaning and adding finishing touches in order to maximise its potential.
However, sellers would do well to remember that as important as the interior is, if you have a garden, whatever shape or size it might be, buyers could be put off if it looks like it would take a lot of work to spruce up.
If you are fortunate enough to have outdoor space, here are our top tips for enhancing your garden:
1. If you only do one thing to your garden, make sure it is well-manicured – get out the lawnmower, hedge trimmer and pruning shears and neaten everything up. Clear the path or entryway of any leaves, dirt and other debris, and ensure pebbles are contained within their borders.
2. It’s important to strike a balance between aesthetics and practicality, creating a garden that’s pretty to look at without requiring too much effort. That beautiful bonsai might look lovely now, but it will require regular pruning to keep its shape, whereas a hardy conifer will remain healthy and green all year round with no effort or upkeep, aside from the odd prune.
3. Water features are always a pleasure to see and hear. Ponds can be tricky to keep clean, whereas a small outdoor fountain will be attractive and easy to look after.
4. A healthy lawn is vital and creates a cared-for appearance in any garden. The best shortcut to a lovely lawn is turf, which can be laid at most times of the year. Turfing a garden is also much quicker than waiting for seeds to grow. Always choose the most expensive option, and put a few inches of compost underneath it, so the roots can bed in easily.
5. As with turf, always surround the base of any newly-purchased plants with high-quality compost rather than relying on the soil already in situ to do the job. To avoid the effort of installing permanent conifer beds, add a few colourful plants into troughs and plastic or ceramic planters, which will liven up anything from a window box to a patio.
6. Try to avoid large areas of exposed soil where weeds can flourish, and you might want to avoid installing jagged plants like rose bushes – they are awkward and time-consuming to trim.
7. Bedding plants look pretty but will die off after a few months, whereas perennials will hopefully thrive throughout the seasons. It’s also possible to buy some impressively authentic artificial plants, which don’t attract insects, won’t aggravate hayfever and can’t shed petals or leaves everywhere in the autumn.
8. Flagstones come in a spectrum of styles and patterns nowadays, adding a touch of colour to each pathway or patio. If the installation is professionally done, an occasional blast with a power washer should be enough to keep them ship-shape.
9. Stepping stone pathways can be more aesthetically pleasing than a solid line of flagstones, and they look particularly good running through gravel or pebble beds – another low maintenance idea that can generate colour all year round.
10. Other options include decking and monoblocking. Decking has been a default option in recent times, and it is easily fitted by a DIY home improver. By contrast, monoblocking usually requires expert assistance to install, but it is prettier than tarmac and less likely to decay than concrete, meaning it works equally well on paths, patios or driveways.