Landscaping can be seen as a luxury, something that is nice to have, rather than essential. But a garden can make a huge difference to your property, and by extension, your life.
It doesn’t matter if you have two square metres or an acre; any outdoor space can be landscaped. What’s essential though, is planning.
Think about the ecology of the garden as well as how it looks. There’s a trend for wild flowers and native planting to encourage wildlife and features such as hedgehog holes to combat hungry slugs. But be wary of artificial grass as worms won’t reach the surface and birds will struggle to feed.
When it comes to decking, I advise buying durable composite rather than timber – if you are set on timber, get it from a sustainable source that has Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification.While natural stone paving looks fantastic, non-porous porcelain is easier to clean and will look good for longer
Bifold and large sliding doors can make the garden a real focal point, while outdoor kitchens, barbecues and fire pits can really bring the inside out.
Digital mood lighting creates a wow factor and water features can make a real impact. Running water has become popular in recent years, with rivulets to create a soothing sound. However, steer clear of swimming pools which can have high running costs and are not always wanted by potential buyers.
While such features are a matter of taste, one thing that does add value is a garden room. Estate agents count them as living space – and they may not need planning permission.
When you’re planning your garden, be upfront about your budget and tell contractors about access – it makes a big difference to the practicalities of the job.
Lastly, it’s worth thinking about a specialist contractor and designer. Landscaping can be costlier than you think, so £500 spent on design will help maximise your investment, which you’ll enjoy for years to come.
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