I have written many an article for various publications over the last 20 years so I thought it was high time that I wrote a blog based on one of my biggest passions in life, gardening.
Yes I am an estate agent so I write a lot about all different aspects of the property market and houses in general but the garden is one of the biggest rooms that you have in your property. There are so many benefits to gardening that people just don’t realise such as exercise, which gives you stress relief, clean air and a great sense of achievement once tasks are completed.
Another benefit from having a good garden is the added value that it puts on your property. If I have learnt anything from this pandemic that we have all endured, it’s having an outside space to go in to is a real blessing. More and more of our buyers are specifically looking for properties that have good outside areas whether it be a balcony, courtyard or sprawling gardens. The better the garden is presented then the more attractive that is to potential buyers.
Now I’m not underestimating the amount of work, time and money that it takes to create a lovely garden but I really cannot stress how important it is as part of your lifestyle or property maintenance. As a result, I have created a Facebook group “The Gardening Club” to encourage as many people as possible to join in, learn, ask questions and start discussions on all aspects of gardening from garden design to plant propagation. Please feel free to join our Facebook Group.
Having recently moved myself, I have realised just how important the garden is to me. My previous home was a lovely Victorian semi detached property in the rather urban area of Plymouth called Peverell. My garden took over two years to create and I had to start planning the garden from day one as we were doing a full refurbishment on the house, which included a large rear extension that cut into the existing garden. As I moved in to the house in early January there didn’t seem to be many plants in the garden apart from a few shrubs. When we got to March, the garden exploded with all kinds of plants in every square inch of the garden. The previous owner was obviously a massive gardening fan and did a magnificent job, however our plans for the property meant that we would have to take up nearly all the plants. I enlisted the help of my mother, who has always been green-fingered, to help me. We transplanted a few hundred plants form my garden to hers and kept around another 50 plants for me to put in our garden once the groundworks were completed, by the end of the day there was only one plant that we didn’t move, a very established and beautiful acer tree, we decided to design the garden around this tree.
At the start of the first lockdown, March 2020, the garden became a haven for Craig and myself as the weather was great and we were not allowed to go anywhere. I found myself spending hours just pottering around, weeding, taking cuttings, mowing the lawn and sitting down with a nice glass of Pinot Grigio.
Now that Craig and I have moved again (this time to our forever home) and after promising never to move over the festive period, we moved in to our new house officially on 23rd December. I will admit that this was pure and utter chaos again. Our new house comes with more garden, a lot more garden, in fact the new garden is about 50 times bigger than our previous one and comes with several lawn areas, a knot garden, a maze and a private woodland.
When we started working on the gardens. the first thing we did was tackle all the brambles and ivy that had taken over. There is a good sense of satisfaction revealing the lovely stone walls that were beneath. Now when I cut the grass it is five and a half miles (I know this as I wear my pedometer). Having such a large amount of garden also comes with a lot of responsibilities, it is our intention to make the gardens much more in keeping with the house, so far we have managed to get the gardens under control and in a manageable state, however it is certainly going to take some work (I estimate that we will need up to five years) to have the gardens the way I have imagined them.
The Gardening Club is something that I thought of a while ago, during the second lockdown, as a way to bring lots of green=fingered enthusiasts together and share ideas. Now I think that there are a lot of budding gardeners (do you see what I did there) out there who are looking for new friends to help them with advice, hacks, ideas, recommendations and even swapping plants, seeds or cuttings. I have been amazed by just how quickly people have joined the club and totally blown away by how nice, friendly and helpful the members have been. From total beginners to others who are quite accomplished at their craft.
If you are looking at a possible move, or even if it is your first property purchase, maybe consider how the outside space will work for you? Is there a garden, balcony or simply a window box that you can grow things in? If you do not have any outside space, how about trying house plants? All plants make you feel better when you know that you have grown them.