The Garden Effect

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Yes its official, all the time and effort involved in keeping your garden looking good pays dividends! Simply put, houses with good gardens sell quicker, for a better price.  The estimated effect on price being +16%, with three times payback on money invested! 

The Husqvarna Global Garden Report 2011 identified that the overall effect of a well-maintained garden on property price was estimated as being as much as a 16% increase on the value of a property, that’s a difference of $64,000 on a $400,000 house!!!  

  • When taking costs of maintenance, plants and garden makeover into account, the average hypothetical payback on garden investments was estimated at 3 times the money invested.
  • Making a comparison with interior house improvements, once a new kitchen is installed it starts to date and lose value, whereas gardens grow and continue to add value to your property.

The top six property value enhancers

  • A well-maintained lawn
  • An inviting social area        
  • Good quality paths and walkways
  • Decorative trees and shrubs
  • Well-kept hedges
  • Nicely designed flower beds

Summer is a popular time to commence home improvements projects. A common quandary is where to start. So here’s some comments to get you thinking…

  1. First impressions count - ideally the front garden shouldn’t hide the whole house, but frame and soften the architecture. Landscaping should be kept simple and set the house off to best advantage. And remember, a well groomed lawn is essential.
  2. As far as planting goes, concentrate on evergreen shrubs grouped in beds with mulch to keep the weeds down. If space allows, consider a shapely feature tree set off to one side. And while you’re at it, why not plant a hedge fence?
  3. An evergreen hedge makes a beautiful living fence. Not only does it look inviting, hedge plants absorb an average of 5 decibels more ambient sound than wooden or metal fences.
  4. Outdoor living spaces are almost a necessity now! An attractive, all season outdoor living space is an extension of the house, effectively an extra room so will instantly add value. Ideally it should adjoin the indoor living space or be as close as you can make it. And we all know from previous columns that when around plants and fresh flowers people are less worried, in higher spirits and more empathetic.

So start making a list of what you like and don’t like in your garden and what you want the garden to do for you. Remember you’ll have to work with pre-existing elements such as the prevailing wind, the sun and shade.

Once you’ve decided if it will be a place in which to play or entertain, or a utilitarian space, then start compiling your dream garden list. For inspiration visit or other leading gardening websites, browse magazines and check out Pinterest online and start compiling a clipping file.

Still not convinced? … Australian research also shows that a well-presented easy to maintain garden can increase property values up to 20% and decrease house sale time by up to 6 weeks!  An established garden is more attractive than one that is newly planted so get planting now.

First published in Weekend Gardener issue 407. Written by NGINZ. Reproduced with permission of Weekend Gardener.



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