With Spring finally here, you may be looking forward to garden parties or lounging in the sun with a good book.
It's no secret that a garden, where you can enjoy these things at home, adds huge value to a property.
We looked at our own data, and in the last year (March 2022 to Feb 2023), properties with a private garden rented for 21% more on average than those without.
A garden also adds about 10% to the value of a home, according to our resident sales expert Lionel Stoll - that's an additional £50,000 - £100,000 in our area!
The key to this is that you, or your residents living in the property, can actually use this high-value space to it's fullest potential. That means keeping it well maintained.
And the reality is it can be difficult to keep on top of. We all lead busy lives, and unless you enjoy spending your weekends pruning, mowing and watering - or paying a gardener to do it for you - it can feel like a lot of work.
This garden below was looking beautiful and well-kept at the beginning of a tenancy, but by the end it was clear it needed more attention than the residents had time for:
Above: before tenancy. Below: after tenancy.
The solution? Keep it simple with a low maintenance garden that stays looking great with minimal input.
Here are our top 6 tips for achieving an attractive, low maintenance garden.
1. Choose low-maintenance plants
Selecting plants that are well-suited to the local climate and soil conditions is key to creating a low-maintenance garden. Opt for native plants and species that are drought-tolerant and disease-resistant, as they will require less watering, pruning, and fertilization.
2. Use mulch
Applying a layer of mulch to your garden beds can help retain moisture, regulate soil temperature, and reduce weed growth. Organic mulches like wood chips or leaves can also provide nutrients to the soil as they decompose.
3. Make watering easy
A water butt is an economical and eco-friendly solution to keeping your garden watered. This is a container that collects and stores rainwater that can then be used to water your plants.
There are various designs available in plastic, metal or wood, so a water butt can be functional and work with the look of your garden.
We also recommend making sure you have an outside tap where a hose can be attached. And if it's in your budget, installing an irrigation system can help ensure that your plants receive the right amount of water without wasting it. Drip irrigation systems are particularly effective, as they deliver water directly to the roots of the plants, reducing evaporation and water loss.
4. Incorporate hardscaping
Hardscaping elements like paths, patios, and raised beds can help reduce the amount of lawn and garden beds that require maintenance. These features can also add visual interest to your garden and define different areas for planting and relaxation.
If you are a landlord, chances are your tenants will appreciate having the option to plant their own herbs, vegetables etc to enjoy homegrown produce in the warmer months. The great thing is, a small raised garden can be created easily and very affordably. On top of that, simple raised gardens can massivley improve the look of dead space.
In the image on the right side above, the landlord of this property added a raised garden to give their tenants this option. It was achieved with three railway sleepers, backfilled in!
5. Set the mood
Lighting in a garden makes a big difference to the overall feel of the space, and its something that doesn't need much attention once it's installed. We recommend hardwired or mood lighting to elevate the aesthetic.
6. Plan for the long term
When designing your garden, consider the long-term maintenance needs of your chosen plants and features. Planting trees or shrubs that will eventually provide shade can help reduce water needs and cut down on lawn care. Incorporating perennial plants and native species can also help create a more sustainable, low-maintenance garden over time.
Low maintenance does not need to mean less attractive! The last thing we'd recommend to complete your easy-to-maintain garden is...drumroll please...a BBQ!
Having the option to cook outside is a real plus for residents, and it's a great way to add more value to the space.
You really can have it all when it comes to your garden!
For more advice on maximising the use of your garden, give us a call on 020 7644 2255.