Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Good Gardens can add Capital Value to your Property.

We all know that when we put our house on the market it should be clean, tidy and well presented both inside and out. It is also suggested that the making of coffee just before an open home adds some further ambiance to the home. We want to get top dollar.

The marketing of the property by a real estate agent always covers both the inside and outside of the home and includes the garden, outbuildings, paths, paving, fences and any other structures and features.

Investment in your garden can reap quite substantial rewards. There are some estimates that up to 15% additional value can be achieved with the development of outdoor living spaces and quality gardens. That is the equivalent of adding up to $45,000 on a $300,000 property. A really worthwhile investment in time and resources.

In reality a well designed garden with indoor/outdoor flow and the creation of enclosed outdoor rooms using modern material and systems to create warm cosy spaces may add even more.

This value is not achieved overnight with a quick garden makeover. Like cheese a good garden takes time. There for a good investment in design and construction is required before a garden can provide all the potential added value. Certainly an investment in walls, fences, garden structures paths and patios etc will provide and early return on investment however to gain the most requires the plants to be established and growing well.

Newly planted plants from the garden centre just look like that newly planted. Trees of a small size do not show a garden that has been developed.

The challenge then is to have an excellent planting scheme and the plants to be planted and cared for to make the garden. This includes planting the right plant in the right place, nutrients and mulch for growth, pruning and training for the right effect and general maintenance care throughout the year.

If we want to add even greater value we need to look at some other examples for inspiration. Antiques are furniture and collectibles that add even more value to a home. In planting plants in out garden we need to choose plants that are unusual, rare or of exceptional quality for their form, texture growth habit flowering and fruiting. Those bread and butter lines we get from garden Centre today are the same plants that everyone else has. What is needed is something different, high quality and timeless. They are classic plants.

Of course to collect these plants takes time and effort over a number of years. It does not happen overnight. Like collecting antiques we have to explore the retail outlets, the internet, the mail order nurseries and of course those out of the way nurseries. Its fun and we should enjoy it.

Another example we can draw inspiration from is the world of Art. Those of us that collect art works know that art can add value to our property. Garden art can do this as well. Not just your local common art but some of the better pieces of sculpture, craft or pottery are sensible investments.

While we can continue to invest in the garden one of the best investments is time and expertise. There are many gardening techniques that we need to employ to bring the best out of our outdoor spaces. These include soil care, lawn management, pruning and training, special planting schemes, general maintenance, weed control, plant care, pests and disease management etc. This is important because once a problem occurs or manifests itself it is not easily fixed and will take up to a year to correct. Therefore good garden management all year round is important.

Recent overseas research has shown that people are just not gardening but rather enhancing the garden and this is seen as a home improvement exercise as well as a hobby.

Gardens are a great investment from both a monetary perspective and an aesthetic perspective. Both can provides us with an economic benefit when we want to realise our assets.

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