Tag Archives: front garden

What does your front garden say about you?

What does your front garden say about you – 

more importantly does it say what you want it to say?

 

front-garden-talking

 

We believe that everyone can have a lovely front garden even if you can’t afford to spend very much. We have always tried to show you how you can achieve a gorgeous garden with only a small amount of effort and having only spent what you can easily afford.

Here is a typical modern front garden, a little unloved maybe, but maybe that’s because the owner doesn’t know what to do with it – so it’s just left as grass.dull shady front

Not very homely though is it, and it can be so much nicer.

Incidentally, an attractive front garden not only makes you feel better when you come home, it can also add value to your house – so it is really worth making a little effort.

Tips to remember:

 

  • Don’t have prickly or spiky plants!
  • Don’t have fast growing climbers around entrances (unless you love pruning).
  • Consider permeable paving under the car to help prevent flash flooding.
  • If the space is small – ditch the lawn, it will rarely look fantastic.
  • Use tall pots for planting – they are less likely to trip over at night!
  • Tall pots also raise the plants to right under your nose – so use plenty of scented plants to cheer you up when you get home.
  • Use the colour of the house and front door to choose your colour theme.
  • If you plant shrubs, make sure they are interesting all year round.
  • Use bulbs to change the ‘mood’ over the seasons.
  • Be a bit different, make your ‘front’ a trend setter!
  • Use fairy lights or solar lights – they are a lot more welcoming than a security light!
  • Scent, scent and more scent….unless you are a hayfever sufferer.
  • Pottering in the front garden is a great way to start to chat to the neighbours.

 

This weekend, step out the front and look back to your door and just ask – what does this garden say about me?

Blue flowers

Gardening is not difficult, but if you don’t know much about plants it is difficult to know where to begin. That’s where we can help, we have loads of designs for front gardens (and back ones too) so why don’t you get a little inspiration and make a statement in your front garden.

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How to get Low Maintenance Planting for Pots

Low Maintenance Planting for Pots

 

Well this is a bit of a misnomer  planting in pots will always more labour intensive than planting in soil.

Plants were not designed to grow in a pot and so will be more demanding. There are ways to reduce the time you spend tending to your pots.

 

tulips-in-pots

 

So what are our top tips to getting a gorgeous pot collection that not only looks lovely but also survives the summer sunshine and the winter rains!

 

What type of Pot?

 

DSCF7984Gone are the days we could only have terracotta pots, now you can get any shape any size and almost any material – so what are best.

 

You need to know the conditions your pot will be inDSCF7985 in order to pick the best material.

For example, if you have a sunny patio, then thin metal planters are going to absorb lots of heat and cook the roots of the plants, or if you have a plot that is prone to frost, thin terracotta pots will easily crack and break.

So the rules are this:

 

  • In hot sunny sites, use pots that have good thermal insulation, like wood or terracotta and avoid dark colours that will absorb more heat.
  • DSCF7974  Wooden pots and planters must have a liner or inner pot, to prevent the wood becoming rotten.
  • Metal pots must have a layer of insulation inserted, otherwise both the sun and the frost will cook and freeze the roots that curl around the edge of the pot.
  • Plastic or fibreglass pots are lighter and so should have some ballast added to the bottom of the pot to prevent them falling over.
  • Stone or large pots try to use castors under the pot before you plant. You will want to move the pot at some point – and you don’t need a hernia doing it!

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  • DSCF8004Urns or Round pots look lovely, apart from when you need to repot or remove a plant.

Getting an established plant out of a pot with a narrow neck without breaking the pot is tricky.

So either choose insert a pot that sits in the neck of the urn or only plant in pots that are wider at the top!

 

 

  • fibreglass_red_ball_planterTerracotta pots, the cheaper ones  aren’t usually frost hardy and are prone to cracking in winter. If you are investing in a nice pot, make sure it is – the rims usually break first.

 

 

Have enough holes!

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All pots need drainage holes, sadly many modern pots don’t seem to have them. Whilst this does prevent muddy puddles, it also drowns the plants.

So make sure there are 3-4 holes in the base. And if you have a large plant in a pot, check the roots aren’t blocking the holes up too.  In winter, raise the pots off the ground a little to prevent soggy bottoms!

 

 

Get the right filling.

The problem with multipurpose compost is that it’s just that – multipurpose. Your planted pots are going to need a bit more to grow well and stay looking good.

 

  • Multipurpose compost dries out really easily – which means more watering.
  • Once dried out this compost is hard to rehydrate, the compost shrinks and compacts making it hard to absorb the water.
  • If you plant certain types of plant in compost, they grow all fat & floppy and won’t produce enough flowers because the compost is too rich, they just produce green leaves.
  • Multipurpose compost is not good if you are planting perennials or shrubs, i.e plants you want to last. The compost loses any mineral elements pretty quickly so the plant is left starving and looking decidedly peaky.

 

So what to do.

 

  • Mix 2/3 topsoil with 1/3 compost in a pot mix. Plants know how to grow in soil….the compost just lightens the mix. Soil takes longer to dry out than compost and it hold nutrients better, so your plants will grow better for longer.
  • If you have plants that thrive in poor soils you can use a mix of topsoil, compost and also sand or grit or some subsoil. The plant will grow lean and mean, so it shouldn’t flop, droop and should produce more flowers!
  • Plants that love a rich moist soil, add water retaining granules, topsoil, compost and manure to give the plant the best start.

 

3 different plants requiring 3 different conditions

 

Aeonium type succulentThe succulent on the left hand pot appreciates a well drained soil.

It is drought tolerant (but tender) so it can thrive in a smaller pot that might dry out a bit more quickly.

 

canna wThe Canna on the right is a different kettle of fish.

This plant loves a rich moisture retentive soil, it won’t appreciate being waterlogged. It will look decidedly peaky if all it has to grow in is multipurpose compost. So use a mix of soil, multipurpose and a bit of garden manure to help it grow.

 

Box Ball 2Finally, the Box. This plant will last for years, so it is best to plant this in a pot that is predominantly soil as opposed to compost.

You will need to topdress with a feed and ensure it doesn’t dry out, every few years replenish with fresh soil.

 

THe upshot is; if plants have good growing conditions you won’t have to look after them so often!

Put the right stuff in the pot for the place you want it!

 

Apologies for maybe stating the obvious, but seeing as we are looking at ways to reduce unwanted garden chores, what you put where is really quite important.

  • In hot sunny areas, make sure all the plants you add to the pot will thrive in hot conditions.
  • Similarly in shade, don’t mix ferns and sun lovers for example.
  • Pots containing a mixture of plants look wonderful in magazines and garden centres but they are actually tricky to keep well fed and watered.

 

Filling your Pots:

 

pot fill 1  All Pots need ballast at the base to aid with drainage. Leave a gap at the top to allow for easier watering. The plant’s root ball should occupy the area shown in darker brown, that way the plant has enough room, which encourages new root growth.

 

  pot over fill Here the pot has been overfilled, so the water will simply run over the edge and not get into the soil.

 

  tall fill If you have a tall pot, you don’t need to fill the entire pot with expensive soil & compost. You will need some ballast for stability and to aid drainage at the base, add a lightweight layer above. This can be old polystyrene plant trays or empty plastic pots. Above that you add a membrane to prevent the soil being wash through and then add the soil as before.

 

Finally have little pot collections, rather than dotting individual pots here and there around the garden. It makes it much quicker to water them all.

 

Pots will always require more care and attention than plants in the ground. By choosing the type of pot and by thinking a little more about the compost and the plants, your plants will look healthier and last longer!

For more ideas tips and advice….

plotting shed blog

 

Next week As Spring is really starting to take hold:  how to revamp little bits of your garden with our Mini Makeovers.

 

What is a Low Maintenance Garden – part 2

How to actually create one!

We all love the idea of having a low maintenance garden, it conjures an image of lazy summer days spent in your garden watching the bees buzzing and you just relaxing. The reality though, generally involves you spending far too much time on mowing the grass, trimming the edges, weeding paths and taming the triffids!

But with a little planning it is achievable – honestly! So how do you go about it?

more hours mowing

Well if you read last week’s post, part 1, you know some of the hard landscaping pitfalls to avoid and the idea that creating a low maintenance garden really involves creating a garden that minimises the stuff you don’t like doing.

This week we’ll take a closer look at what in your garden creates the maintenance, so you can avoid it!

Design tips for low maintenance gardens

The aim of a low maintenance garden, is to reduce the time you spend doing stuff you don’t like doing. So take a look at your garden, jot down how much time and effort you spend on certain tasks.

80% of your garden should require only annual attention or only a few minutes a week spent tidying up.

gdn maintenance 1

This house owner is a garden lover, there are lots of plants that require regular attention, which is fine if you love gardening.

Once you have seen which elements of the garden require regular bursts of activity, you also need to consider how long each activity takes. In the image below, there are large hedges and a box parterre. The hedging may only require clipping twice a year, but if it takes several hours each time, you can decide if really sharply clipped hedges are your thing!

Low maintenance garden 3

Size is not the key determinant of the amount of time you spend gardening, although it obviously is still relevant, the types of plants you have are also crucial. The main workload in the image below comes from keeping the grass cut and the border edges neat. The rest can be tackled pretty much with one day’s gardening a year and a few little trips in between to dead head the roses.

gdn maintenance 2

So you have identified those elements of the garden that are either regular chores or take up an inordinate amount of time that you would prefer doing something much more enjoyable!

What is next?

Changing what you have

Mowing the grass:  Reduce time and effort mowing by;

  • Keeping the shape simple, so there are no fiddly corners to mow round.lower-maintenance
  • Reduce the size of the lawn by adding in borders with low maintenance planting.
  • Do not have small lawns (especially in the front garden), where’s the benefit, you don’t need the grass to walk on so get rid of it entirely.
  • Let the grass grow, create mown paths through some parts of the grass, why do you have to mow it every week? You can add bulbs in spring and summer, so you only need to mow in the autumn.
  • Trim the edges of the lawn regularly but reduce the mowing frequency, since when did 1 inch become the height lawns MUST be kept to?

Plants and Planting: You will need to know a little bit about the plants in your garden!

  • Get rid of plants that you don’t like, for example ‘triffids’. We’ve all inadvertently got some; plants that never seem to stop growing. But they won’t ever stop growing, so if it’s too big for it’s boots get rid of it or give it away.
  • Make your borders at least 3 ft wide, it’s much easier to get a good display. The borders don’t have to run the whole length of the garden either! Creating deeper borders helps the plants grow and prevents the plants flopping over onto the grass all the time.

borders 1           borders 2

side drawing fence                       side drawing fence 2

Both images have the same ‘plants’, but the borders in the right image will grow and look much better

  • Avoid planting too many annuals, bedding plants, or plants that require staking, tying in, or lots of feeding and watering. Choose plants by how they make you feel and what you want them to be used for.
  • Don’t plant right up to the fence, all that happens is the plant grows away from your fence and will flop over the grass.
  • If you are going to plant climbers, then invest in really sturdy trellis – and allow for the growth of the climber! If it will grow to 14ft, you need to make sure there is at 14ft of trellis for it to grow on!
  • Never attach the trellis directly to the wall or fence, as the growing plants just fall off the front of the trellis. It’s much better instead to hang the trellis on sturdy brackets, that way, you can unhook the trellis if you need to get to the wall or fence.

Pots and Containers: These tend to be more labour intensive, so to keep unwanted chores to a minimum, follow these tips:

  • Avoid hanging baskets, unless you have automatic watering systems.design-garden-sidebar
  • Use a mixture of bulbs and perennials in pots, so they last for more than one season.
  • Avoid using only multipurpose compost, it dries out too easily. Use soil or a mixture of soil and multipurpose, plants will thrive better if the pot doesn’t keep drying out and soil is heavier so the pot is less prone to being blown over.
  • If using pots in sunny places, mix in water retaining granules with the soil.
  • If you are using pots with a thin skin, like aluminium, insert a thin insulating layer of polystyrene to protect the roots from heat and frost damage.
  • Keep all the pots together in collections, it looks better and takes less time to water!

Creating a low maintenance garden or at least one that minimises unwanted chores is achievable. You may need to be a little bold and decide to get rid of the elements of the garden that don’t work for you, even if it means your plot stands out from the neighbours gardens as being different – if it works for you, then it’s a good garden!

We have loads of free help and advice for your garden and we even have come up with lots of garden border designs that you can browse through as well to help get your garden the way you want it to be.

Next week: How to make your paths lower maintenance.

great garden

Good Garden Advice for Selling your Home – part 8

Good Garden Advice for Selling your Home – part 8

My garden isn’t peaceful or quiet

 

It would be lovely for buyers to step out into your garden and only hear the birds singing away in the trees, lucky for some eh? So if your garden is not the peaceful tranquil oasis you would like, what can you do to minimise the impact of traffic noise or at least stop prospective buyers noticing it too much?

 

How to reduce the impact of noise around your garden

 

mini-1500-px 

1: Try to avoid booking viewings at the noisiest times

Ok, it’s not really a garden tip, but it’s a pretty obvious and easy solution – so instruct the Agent to avoid certain times of the day for showing buyers around.

 

2: Visually hide what’s causing the most noise

If we can see what’s making the noise as well as hear it, we will pay more attention to the noise. Tall planting will be required to block out this view, rather than going out and spending lots of money on large plants or new fencing, see if any tall plants can be moved from elsewhere in the garden. Plant noisy plants i.e ones that rustle in the wind, not only will this distract you from the noise, foliage disrupts the sound waves thus helping to muffle the volume a little.

 

3: Humans have 5 senses – use all of them

Cotinus and Cardoon 2

Use strong bold shapes and colours

Rhododendron Luteum flowers

Rhododendron Luteum – an amazing scent in Spring

This is all a distraction technique, the external noise will hit the ears of your buyers – so we need to hit them with sensory input from all other 4 senses equally hard, so any noise is not so prominent.

The two senses to concentrate on are sight and smell. Create a real visual impact as they step into the garden, (it doesn’t have to mean the whole garden – just the first area the buyers will see). Use height, movement (grasses are cheap and very DSCF8006useful plants for noisy ‘swishing’ sounds) and colours to capture their interest. Just a note, use 2-3 colours it will have more impact than including every possible colour.

Secondly SCENT – pack the area full of lovely smells. Then add plants that people will love to touch, you can also add some nice noise – be careful it’s not irritating, some windchimes are awful but some are more relaxing. You could be more inventive …and have some bird song music playing! Lastly, taste, how about a couple of pots packed with strawberry plants within easy picking distance…? 

 

You are in the process of SELLING the house don’t forget and the message you want them to remember is how lovely the garden is, not how noisy.

 

Read also: 

You’ve some prospective buyers arriving soon:

If you have prospective buyers due to arrive, make sure the front garden create the best first impression – after all it’s usually the first thing they see when they arrive.

What to do if your garden is not quite up to scratch:

We all want to maximise the value of our homes when selling – without having to spend a lot of money in the process.

Oh, there is no view – sorry!

Buyers will always look out of the window to see ‘the view’ – but if your view is not the most appealing, what can you do? 

Yep – that’s exactly how big the garden is!

We cannot escape the garden boundaries, however they highlight to the limits of the space people are looking to move into. So if you have a small garden and your are surrounded by fences, is there any way to minimise the negative impact of lots of fencing and enhance your garden more?

I’m not the world’s keenest gardener!

Your garden can be one of your best sales assets, although an unloved garden is unlikely to put off an interested buyer, it is not going to encourage them to bid up the price either!

Ah yes, we don’t use that bit of the garden – at all!

Don’t let the garden work against your sale.  Buyers will spot all the tricky bits of the garden before they see the nice bits…so you need to have a plan to disguise the difficult bits better!

Well, the neighbours are really quite lovely…(most of the time)

Very few of us live in splendid isolation, we all have neighbours. Now that is all well and good, but will the neighbours garden style help or hinder your sale!

 

If you would like some more design advice for your garden…

Garden Design for Beginners

Mini-Makeovers

Solve even more Garden Problems

visit

back to home

Good Garden Advice for Selling your Home – part 7

Good Garden Advice for Selling your Home – part 7

The garden is a really awkward shape

 

Many gardens have ‘dead space’ areas that are awkward shapes and they usually end up as dumping grounds for all your garden stuff or your garden is a really difficult shape to have a garden at all – so how can the garden help in selling your home?

 

Selling is about emphasising the good whilst making sure the not so good is less noticeable.

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How to make the most of your garden 

 

1: Turn negative into positive

hiding bins behind trellis

There a 3 wheelie bins here – but do you really notice them?

This means, if you have a dud area, rather than try to hide it, put something there that is good to look at, then the buyers will notice that and not what it’s hiding. A classic example is with the bins. We all have them, and we all try to stuff them into a corner where we hope noone will notice…but they do. So a very simple solution is a free standing trellis, a couple of posts, a trellis panel and some annual climbers will create something pretty to look at.

 

 

2: You ‘control’ what the buyer sees

ten pin bowling in yellows

This has visual impact

It’s a simple principle, you place something really noticeable in front of the area you don’t want them to notice. So put some chairs and a table out with the parasol up, put a tablecloth on the table. Add a colourful plant pot on their too.  Or you make a feature of the best area of the garden so the rest is not so noticeable, i.e clump all your pots together to create a real impact – have some tall planting or raise pots off the ground. Visually it becomes a large feature in the garden and the bit buyers are most likely to remember.

 

3: Stop them seeing all the garden at once

Human eyes follow lines, in an odd shaped garden this means the eye follow the lines and notices all the odd shaped bits easily. So if we break up the lines and create new shapes your buyers eyes follow the lines of the nice shapes you create.

narrow garden line drawingThis is a really long and narrow garden, you view a long straight road with a shed at the end and nothing stops it in between.

First we make the eye move left and right by creating a couple of beds on either side.

narrow garden - ready for planting

A couple of curved beds make a big difference

Then we stop the eye getting to the end of the garden by the use of trellis. Before a buyer comes to visit, you mow the lawn following the contours of the new curve, the curvy stripes all help to make eyes wander left and right this will make the garden feel wider than it is.

  

narrow garden - feather planting

Light airy planting and tall trellis stops the view all the way to the end.

Read also: 

You’ve some prospective buyers arriving soon:

If you have prospective buyers due to arrive, make sure the front garden create the best first impression – after all it’s usually the first thing they see when they arrive.

What to do if your garden is not quite up to scratch:

We all want to maximise the value of our homes when selling – without having to spend a lot of money in the process.

Oh, there is no view – sorry!

Buyers will always look out of the window to see ‘the view’ – but if your view is not the most appealing, what can you do? 

Yep – that’s exactly how big the garden is!

We cannot escape the garden boundaries, however they highlight to the limits of the space people are looking to move into. So if you have a small garden and your are surrounded by fences, is there any way to minimise the negative impact of lots of fencing and enhance your garden more?

I’m not the world’s keenest gardener!

Your garden can be one of your best sales assets, although an unloved garden is unlikely to put off an interested buyer, it is not going to encourage them to bid up the price either!

Also what can you do if the garden is not the house’s best asset!

We can’t change the environment outside the garden, but we can lessen the negative impact on the garden. Here’s how

Well, the neighbours are really quite lovely…(most of the time)

Very few of us live in splendid isolation, we all have neighbours. Now that is all well and good, but will the neighbours garden style help or hinder your sale!

 

If you would like some more design advice for your garden…

Garden Design for Beginners

Mini-Makeovers

Solve even more Garden Problems

visit

back to home

 

Good Garden Advice for Selling your Home – part 6

Good Garden Advice for Selling your Home – part 6

The garden is a little unloved…!

 

If your garden is a little unloved you are not making the most of one of your properties biggest selling features, it won’t probably put people off buying the house, but it won’t help get you the best sale price either.

 

What message are you sending the prospective buyer?

 

This garden is so much work and effort to keep on top of…

Your garden isn’t a nice place to be – so there is no point in using it?

Are they worried there may be problems that are hidden by the mess?

Whatever it is, the garden will certainly not be helping the sale – so you have to get your hands dirty and start to sort things out….but where to start?

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Top Tips to get your garden looking a little bit more loved

 

1: Paths and Patios

path

Keep these edges neat and straight.

You don’t need to have a perfect patio or path, just a weed free one with neat edges. So you may need to use weedkiller (spray on a calm day to prevent partially killing your garden plants too) to clear the path weeds. Make sure the edges between borders or the lawn and your patio/path are neat. If they are not use an edging spade to neaten them up. Make sure as your buyers walk outside on the patio or down any path – they are not going to get swiped by overhanging branches or attacked by that long bramble shoot!

 

2: Flower Beds and Borders

border clean up

Stopping flopping and a neat edge make a real difference

They are probably rather weed infested, so you are going to have to do some clearing up. Try to remove roots as well as leaves as much as possible. To keep the ground weed free for as long as possible, add a mulch, this could be either bark chippings or a ground conditioner. Spread it really thickly over the weeded soil and around the base of your plants.

If you have some unruly plants that flop onto the path – don’t cut them back it is better to tie them up and put in plant supports. Not only will this keep the garden looking more green and abundant, you will avoid creating large bare patches or showing off stumpy plants.

 

 3: Make a feature of something!

It sounds a little counterproductive, if you don’t think your garden is up to much, but a little effort in one area after you have tidied up can make a world of difference.

Looking at the images below, this garden isn’t totally unloved, but it doesn’t say garden lover either. Once you remove the unnecessary, you can see what you have, and the feature in this garden is the pergola, but at present it is dominated by the shed and the yew.

Garden_Shed_with_Yew_Tree_-_geograph.org

In the last image, the shed and pergola work together, the bright pink flowers are complimented and contrasted by the cream of the shed and the dark green of the yew. A few large plants have been added (which you could put in pots to take with you when you move) then enclose the area and says – look at this isn’t this bit lovely!

 

shed planted

 

Read also: 

You’ve some prospective buyers arriving soon:

If you have prospective buyers due to arrive, make sure the front garden creates the best first impression. It’s usually the first thing they see when they arrive.

What to do if your garden is not quite up to scratch:

Maximise the value of our homes when selling – without having to spend a lot of money in the process.

Oh, there is no view – sorry!

Buyers will always look out of the window – but if your view is not the most appealing, what can you do? 

Yep – that’s exactly how big the garden is!

We cannot escape the garden boundaries, however they highlight to the limits of the garden. In a small garden is there any way to minimise the negative impact of lots of fencing and showcase the garden more?

Also what can you do if the garden is not the house’s best asset!

We can’t change the environment outside the garden, but we can lessen the negative impact on the garden. Here’s how

Ah yes, we don’t use that bit of the garden – at all!

Don’t let the garden work against your sale.  Buyers will spot all the tricky bits of the garden, so you need to have a plan to disguise the difficult bits better!

Well, the neighbours are really quite lovely…(most of the time)

Very few of us live in splendid isolation, we all have neighbours. Now that is all well and good, but will the neighbours garden style help or hinder your sale!

 

If you would like some more design advice for your garden…

Garden Design for Beginners

Mini-Makeovers

Solve even more Garden Problems

visit

back to home

 

Good Garden Advice for Selling your Home – part 5

Good Garden Advice for Selling your Home – part 5

I have a boring view or there is no view!

 

Whilst we would love to look out of the window and see rolling hills and green fields many of our domestic views are a little less inspiring! You can make a very boring view a whole lot more interesting – but you need to be inventive.

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How to make your garden view more interesting…

 

1: Create your own ‘view’

window painting

Who said pictures can only go on inside walls?

Humans love looking at things, so if the outside of the window is awful, make something nice to look at. Use bright colours or bold designs to make it eye catching. Make sure when you are standing up, you can see the new view through the window. Here an outdoor canvas has been attached to the wall.

 

 

2: Create a little garden to look at

window and plants

Your own little ‘vertical’ garden!

Add shelves outside and place something pretty to look at on them. Again make sure it is visible when you stand up and look through the window. If you are using plants, it can be hard to water up high, so cheat, use a mixture of evergreen plants that are drought tolerant, (ivy is good) and add in some artificial flowers – tastefully of course! If you are putting pots or heavy objects on the shelves – attach them securely to the shelf to prevent anything being blown off.

 

 

3: Use movement to hide the view

window and grass

It’s hard to get movement in a picture, but hopefully you get the drift!

If the ugly view is not yours and you can’t attach anything to it, then the best way to disguise it is to use something that moves. Place a tall pot outside the window, weight it down securely and plant a tall grass in it. The stems of the grass will then waft in any breeze, hiding what’s behind.

This can also be done with a window box, you want light airy plants that will sway rather than solid greenery.

 

 

 

If you cannot place anything outside the window, then rather than resort to a dense net curtain, create something nice inside the window to catch the eye, maybe a vase filled with fairy lights, hang light catching baubles or mirrored balls in front of the window or some pot plants on your windowsill (make them tall plants though).  It’s all about saying ‘Look at this not stare at that!’ – the home selling equivalent to a little make up and a good foundation.

 

Read also: 

You’ve some prospective buyers arriving soon:

If you have prospective buyers due to arrive, make sure the front garden create the best first impression – after all it’s usually the first thing they see when they arrive.

What to do if your garden is not quite up to scratch:

We all want to maximise the value of our homes when selling – without having to spend a lot of money in the process.

Yep – that’s exactly how big the garden is!

We cannot escape the garden boundaries, however they highlight to the limits of the space people are looking to move into. So if you have a small garden and your are surrounded by fences, is there any way to minimise the negative impact of lots of fencing and enhance your garden more?

I’m not the world’s keenest gardener!

Your garden can be one of your best sales assets, although an unloved garden is unlikely to put off an interested buyer, it is not going to encourage them to bid up the price either!

Also what can you do if the garden is not the house’s best asset!

We can’t change the environment outside the garden, but we can lessen the negative impact on the garden. Here’s how

Ah yes, we don’t use that bit of the garden – at all!

Don’t let the garden work against your sale.  Buyers will spot all the tricky bits of the garden before they see the nice bits…so you need to have a plan to disguise the difficult bits better!

Well, the neighbours are really quite lovely…(most of the time)

Very few of us live in splendid isolation, we all have neighbours. Now that is all well and good, but will the neighbours garden style help or hinder your sale!

 

If you would like some more design advice for your garden…

Garden Design for Beginners

Mini-Makeovers

Solve even more Garden Problems

visit

back to home

 

 

 

Good Garden Advice for Selling your Home – part 4

Good Garden Advice for Selling your Home – part 4

There is a distinct lack of privacy!

 

Most modern gardens are overlooked by neighbouring windows, and it can be quite a turn off for prospective buyers -we would all love our gardens to be totally private, but if they are not, what can you do to minimise the impact of the neighbours windows.

Easy ways to make your garden more private!

 

1: Strategic Shrubs!

grass screen

And you can take them with you when you move

Blocking the neighbours view of your garden does not require tall fences or huge hedges -you just end up blocking out your own light instead. The area you would like to be most private is usually where you sit in the evening, so sit there and see which windows overlook that place. A strategically placed shrub should screen that window.  If you don’t have a shrub to hand or can’t move any from elsewhere in the garden, consider tall pot and plant a tall grass in it. Grasses are great for cheap screening, they are fast growing, cheap to buy, they don’t require much water and will still look good – so they work really well if you aren’t good at remembering to water!

 

2: Make an area of the garden really eye-catching

Your buyers will tend to notice this first, rather than all the windows – make it tall and dramatic and put it in a spot so that it is the first thing they see when stepping into your garden.

 

3: Invest in a large parasol or sail awning

A strategically placed parasol will hide a multitude of unwanted views. Always have the parasol or sail ‘up’ when you have a house viewing.

 

overlooked - line drawing

OK it’s a new garden, but there’s no hiding from the neighbours.

Big bright planting and a well placed parasol and the neighbours seem a little less ‘neighbourly’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read also: 

You’ve some prospective buyers arriving soon:

If you have prospective buyers due to arrive, make sure the front garden create the best first impression – after all it’s usually the first thing they see when they arrive.

What to do if your garden is not quite up to scratch:

We all want to maximise the value of our homes when selling – without having to spend a lot of money in the process.

Oh, there is no view – sorry!

Buyers will always look out of the window to see ‘the view’ – but if your view is not the most appealing, what can you do? 

Yep – that’s exactly how big the garden is!

We cannot escape the garden boundaries, however they highlight to the limits of the space people are looking to move into. So if you have a small garden and your are surrounded by fences, is there any way to minimise the negative impact of lots of fencing and enhance your garden more?

I’m not the world’s keenest gardener!

Your garden can be one of your best sales assets, although an unloved garden is unlikely to put off an interested buyer, it is not going to encourage them to bid up the price either!

Also what can you do if the garden is not the house’s best asset!

We can’t change the environment outside the garden, but we can lessen the negative impact on the garden. Here’s how

Ah yes, we don’t use that bit of the garden – at all!

Don’t let the garden work against your sale.  Buyers will spot all the tricky bits of the garden before they see the nice bits…so you need to have a plan to disguise the difficult bits better!

 

If you would like some more design advice for your garden…

Garden Design for Beginners

Mini-Makeovers

Solve even more Garden Problems

visit

back to home

 

Good Garden Advice for Selling your Home – part 3

Good Garden Advice for Selling your Home – part 3

Creating a more interesting garden – cheaply!

 

OK, you are trying to sell your home and you think the garden is looking a little dull and uninteresting – it won’t stop you selling your home, but it won’t help to encourage a buyer to buy either!

How to make your garden more interesting…

 

1: Concentrate your efforts on one area

2015-07-03 12.21.32

It’s OK but…..

little view

what catches your eye now?

Which is the first window any buyer will look through to view your garden, which part of the garden is framed by the window? That is the area you concentrate on. You need to pack this ‘view’ with nice stuff to look at – and it doesn’t mean buying loads of plants to fill this space or spending lots of money.  Look at the plants in the garden, would it be better to dig and move some together to create a spectacular border rather than have all the plants dotted around the edges.

 

2: Make what you have more interesting

Put cushions on your patio chairs and a tablecloth on the table, make it bright and cheerful. If you have pots dotted around the garden, bring them together in one place near where people would sit for more impact. 

 

3: Add some colour to the garden

cd369101045b5e8cdb2b133cd325b58d windmills

Well it’s not a boring green hedge is it?

This doesn’t mean added bucket loads of garish coloured plants all over the place, you need a plan!  If the garden is rather shaded then use white flowers to liven up darker corners. Put them in pots so you can move the flowers into darker corners for viewings and then back to the sunshine afterwards. But stick to one colour of flower only, it can be different shades. There is more impact with a single block of colour. Avoid blues as they don’t really stand out.

You can also use objects to inject colour, so maybe lantern lights or bunting. Hang mirrored balls from trees to catch the light or use mirrors to reflect light and brighten dark spaces. You want your buyer to remember something positive about the garden rather than nothing at all!

 

plotting-shed-6 

Read also: 

You’ve some prospective buyers arriving soon:

If you have prospective buyers due to arrive, make sure the front garden create the best first impression – after all it’s usually the first thing they see when they arrive.

Oh, there is no view – sorry!

Buyers will always look out of the window to see ‘the view’ – but if your view is not the most appealing, what can you do? 

Yep – that’s exactly how big the garden is!

We cannot escape the garden boundaries, however they highlight to the limits of the space people are looking to move into. So if you have a small garden and your are surrounded by fences, is there any way to minimise the negative impact of lots of fencing and enhance your garden more?

I’m not the world’s keenest gardener!

Your garden can be one of your best sales assets, although an unloved garden is unlikely to put off an interested buyer, it is not going to encourage them to bid up the price either!

Also what can you do if the garden is not the house’s best asset!

We can’t change the environment outside the garden, but we can lessen the negative impact on the garden. Here’s how

Ah yes, we don’t use that bit of the garden – at all!

Don’t let the garden work against your sale.  Buyers will spot all the tricky bits of the garden before they see the nice bits…so you need to have a plan to disguise the difficult bits better!

Well, the neighbours are really quite lovely…(most of the time)

Very few of us live in splendid isolation, we all have neighbours. Now that is all well and good, but will the neighbours garden style help or hinder your sale!

 

If you would like some more design advice for your garden…

Garden Design for Beginners

Mini-Makeovers

Solve even more Garden Problems

visit

back to home

Good Garden Advice for Selling your Home – part 2

Good Garden Advice for Selling your Home – part 2

Making your garden fences less obvious!

 

Most gardens have fences but all too often when you view a garden all you see is fence, fence and more fence.  Also, many gardens are planted with borders centrifuged around the edges, which only emphasises the fences and won’t make your garden an interesting place to sit.

So how do you show off your garden when selling your home if it is surrounded by very obvious fences – without spending loads of money!

 design-1500-px

The basic principle is to draw your buyer’s eye to something YOU WANT THEM TO NOTICE. You ‘guide’ their view of your garden to the best bit and make those really positive. That’s the bit they will remember about your garden.

Top Tips for sorting out the fences!

 

Simons Garden (4)

The grass look greener with a black fence too!

Simons Garden before

An unpainted garden room

1: Paint the fence  

Good colours for fencing are black, silver, cream and sage/pale green. Avoid browns, reds or some of the really bright shades of fence paint.

 

 

 

 

2: Break up the upper fence line

IMG_3430

No hiding the fence here!

fence and grasses planting

Less fence on show is much better

This means at some point along the line of the fence have something that grows taller than the fence, your eye follows straight lines, so what you are doing is distract the buyers eye to notice the stuff in front of the fence rather than just notice the fence!

 

 

 

 

3: Create 1 or 2 big planting areas

You want your buyer to notice the stuff you want them too, so it’s best to create fewer big noticeable borders rather than centrifuge the plants you have around the edges of the garden.

File 01-07-2015 11 50 11 2015-07-01 11_13_28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this drawing, the lawn has been reshaped and all the planting moved to two borders. This has created a nice area to sit. A post and rope pergola has been added to lift the fence line for more privacy as well as helping disguise the verge, pavement and road outside. A really good tip for helping your buyers look at the bit you want is when you mow the grass, mow the stripes toward your focal point it helps guide the buyer’s eye to what you want them to notice. Lastly, the grass now goes to the edge of the fence which helps keep it looking as large as possible.

 

So very little money spent but a little effort digging can easily make your garden look more interesting.

 

Read also: 

You’ve some prospective buyers arriving soon:

If you have prospective buyers due to arrive, make sure the front garden create the best first impression – after all it’s usually the first thing they see when they arrive.

What to do if your garden is not quite up to scratch:

We all want to maximise the value of our homes when selling – without having to spend a lot of money in the process.

Oh, there is no view – sorry!

Buyers will always look out of the window to see ‘the view’ – but if your view is not the most appealing, what can you do? 

I’m not the world’s keenest gardener!

Your garden can be one of your best sales assets, although an unloved garden is unlikely to put off an interested buyer, it is not going to encourage them to bid up the price either!

Also what can you do if the garden is not the house’s best asset!

We can’t change the environment outside the garden, but we can lessen the negative impact on the garden. Here’s how

Ah yes, we don’t use that bit of the garden – at all!

Don’t let the garden work against your sale.  Buyers will spot all the tricky bits of the garden before they see the nice bits…so you need to have a plan to disguise the difficult bits better!

Well, the neighbours are really quite lovely…(most of the time)

Very few of us live in splendid isolation, we all have neighbours. Now that is all well and good, but will the neighbours garden style help or hinder your sale!

 

If you would like some more design advice for your garden…

Garden Design for Beginners

Mini-Makeovers

Solve even more Garden Problems

visit

back to home

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