Doing it right first time is one of my gardening mantras. It is the most economical and satisfying outcome of one's self-application to any project but to gardening in particular.
Having said that, it is important to be realistic. Not everyone's budget can stretch to the finest materials all over their garden. This is not a problem as it is not all about the money but as much about passion and The Plan.
A plan is incomplete without a budget and a costing. Remember that if you are a DIY gardener/landscaper and you know that your house will be for sale at some stage consider everything you do in your garden as an investment.
For this reason alone you need to be sensible and do your research and make a plan.
Gardens are very personal things but great gardens appeal to everyone and a garden with a good appeal ratio will be worth more.
So what are the key ingredients to making sound investments into your garden? Above all else a garden needs to be low maintenance.
Prospective buyers, in general, will want a garden to look great all on its own as they are too busy to commit all and every weekend to keeping up the standard you may set. They would rather be sailing or playing golf!
Another key ingredient is to make the best use of your available space by making your garden seem as big as possible. This can be quite tricky but it is making sure that your garden zones are well placed and balanced with proportion in relation to their importance.
A good sized vegetable garden would be placed in the backyard as they are typically not the most visually attractive areas, but they also need to have good sun and shelter and also good access, as they are the area of the garden that needs most ongoing care.
You will need to grow enough veges for everyone who lives in your house and no more.
The main deck should be placed with good in/out flow, facing north or northwest depending on the alignment of your house, and a good size so that it can comfortably entertain the whole family and a few friends.
Once the crucial zoning has been completed on paper the details of the garden can be based upon this layout. Your concept plan should include all area uses, ideas of structures, planting styles, paths, and hedges, screens and anything else in a general ideas scenario – details can follow later.
It is important to do your garden in manageable stages so that you can afford to do it right first time and so that the whole project is broken down into realistic and achievable goals – one stage at a time.
If it is a choice of doing less but with better materials or more with cheaper materials always go with small and good, not big and bad!
It is not unusual for new owners to completely rip out existing gardens – trust me – I have had to do this a lot for my clients!
This is such as shame. I can see that the previous owners have gone to quite some trouble and not inconsiderable expense to create their garden but they have done it without a plan and without any professional help.
The result is a garden that adds no value to their property – in fact, it reduces the value because many thousands of dollars need to be spent to remove the old garden before a new one can be installed.
Gardening is far more than just tinkering away when the sun shines – it is an opportunity to make a good or a bad investment.
So why not head down the right track to start with and get some professional help?
Designers can set you right for a minimal charge with a quick on-site appraisal.
- © Fairfax NZ News