We are often asked “is it worth spending money on a garden design?” The answer isn’t a simple yes or no, sadly, but we have learned that more often than not, if someone is asking the question, it’s because they have recognised their garden is in need of a little help.
One of the most important realisations coming out of the pandemic was the vital importance of an attractive outdoor space. A garden was a lifeline to many people during the various lockdowns, both during the time of isolation and later, when we were allowed to have up to eight people in our back garden for a safe, socially distanced gathering. The number of conversations we had about ‘garden shame’ during that period was quite entertaining, as people suddenly realised that there was more to a garden than a square stretch of lawn and a couple of overgrown shrubs. Gardens give pleasure, boost contentment and provide a step towards wellbeing all too many of us had forgotten about – so, quite suddenly, creating a pleasing place to sit, to let minds wander and friends gather, became important.
Today, when the constraints of the pandemic are behind us, a garden (or rather ‘a nice garden’) is still high on the list of must-haves for many of the home-buyers who come through our doors. A scruffy, ill-designed garden, with poor planting and no real consideration on how people might use it for leisure and for entertaining, is a major turn-off, even when the rest of the property has its attractions.
So – should you invest in a professional garden design? If you have no clue of your own, and you know your rear garden isn’t what it could be, then we suggest that yes, you do. And at this point we’d like to bust a myth – you don’t have to go the full Monty (Don) and spend a fortune on a design. You will find that many small, local designers are very happy to visit your home, ask a few questions and draw up a plan for a new layout and planting scheme at a very sensible cost. Working local means they will have already worked on outdoor spaces much like yours, so it will be a quick and easy process.
Then you have three options: implement all, some or none of the ideas.
- Do it all: if you have briefed the designer correctly, setting a clear budget, they will know your objective and have created a plan that is simple to execute, and includes locating the best spot for outdoor furniture, any hard landscaping required (patios, decking, etc) a lighting plan and a planting scheme. Get stuck in and put it all in place and make your garden an immaculate haven for those seeking an easy and immediate solution to their new home needs.
- Do some: Put in place the easiest wins: tidy up and remove plants not saved in the design, dig over the beds and lay down some bark, relocate furniture to its new spot, if it has one, and pop in some quick win plants in pots, to add instant colour and interest – and that can be taken with you when you leave. Make sure any potential buyers see the proposed design and can imagine it complete.
- Do none: If you have no time or budget to implement the design, it’s a good idea to strip back what you do have in your garden and create a blank space upon which people can cast their own imagination – with a little help from the professional garden design you can share with any prospective buyers.
Working in this area as long as we have, we have developed relationships with many local professionals in all aspects of house and garden design and maintenance, so if you think this is the right path for you, just ask – we’re here to help.
Picture used from Wilton Road, Chorlton Green.
Eddie – Friday 10th June 2022