Do Gardens Increase Property Value, or Are They Seen As Too Much Work?

Do Gardens Increase Property Value, or Are They Seen As Too Much Work?

A garden, regardless of its size or type, is a dedicated space for growing plants.  With such a flexible definition, its no wonder that most people have a different perception of what a garden actually is.  To some it is a haven of high growing rose bushes while to others it is a small plot of succulents.  Gardens can take many forms but there are a few that are the most popular among homeowners.  The most common garden is a flower garden.  But even this category of garden can be broken down into small subcategories.  Flowers can range from annuals, perennials, tropical flowers, wildflowers, and so on.  Flower gardens can also range dramatically in size and complexity of care.  A flower garden of perennials is much different in appearance and care than a garden of roses.  The same difference can be found with other gardens such as: vegetable gardens, herb gardens, container gardens, succulent gardens, zen gardens, fairy gardens, hedge gardens, and xeriscaped gardens.  Clearly, this list of plants is long and wide ranging.  The variety and the freedom is part of the appeal to gardeners.  Gardening can be as simple as throwing a packet of wildflower seeds over a sparse area or as complex  as erecting a greenhouse to grow fruits and vegetables to feed your entire family.  Whatever form of gardening one partakes in, there is a clear benefit to your mental and physical health.  Exposure to plants, dirt, fresh air, and sunlight lowers blood pressure, increases vitamin D, and boosts mood.  But while your garden may be lowering your blood pressure it may not be increasing your home’s value.  

Do Garden’s Increase Your Home’s Value

The simple answer is: it depends.  Several factors influence whether a garden will increase your home’s value.  The most important factor is the type of garden.  A neatly landscaped, easy to maintain garden is the most appealing to homebuyers.  Over 67% of realtors advise planting colorful flowers and over 84% of realtors suggest adding a fresh layer of mulch to landscaped areas before selling a house.  An easy to maintain garden should be relatively small in size to keep the cost and commitment to upkeep low.  Areas that work well for a small landscaped garden are around the front porch, around the back porch, or at a focal point of the backyard.  Easy to maintain gardens should contain a few select disease and drought tolerant plants, a fresh layer of mulch, and be free of weeds.  

Low-Maintenance Plants

The key to a garden that will increase your home’s value is to keep it low-maintenance.  To do that,  you should choose easy to care for perennial plants.  That means you should stay away from flowers and plants that are known to be finicky.  The gardenia and tea rose plants are well known for their constant need for attention.  Both of these flowers require perfectly balanced soil that is neither underwatered or over watered for optimal growth.  They are also extremely susceptible to disease such as powdery mildew and root rot.  They are even more susceptible to infestations of aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies.  Not only do these plants need protection from bugs, disease, and slightly over watered soil, they also require constant pruning and deadheading.  Steer clear of these diva type flowers and instead opt for hardy perennials that require nothing more than a spot to grow.  The hardiest of perennial flowers is the daylily.  This flower can be grown in full-sun and will come back year after year with little to no help from you.  Second to the daylily is the coneflower.  This wonderful and multi-colored flower is also pollinator friendly and a great way to attract butterflies to your garden.  Marigolds, Russian sage, sedum, and garden phlox are also perennial favorites that are disease and drought tolerant.  If your garden has an area that will receive less than six hours of sunlight per day you can add in hostas which will come back every year as well.  

In addition to brightly colored perennial flowers, you should also have evergreen or winter friendly shrubs in your garden.  These really fill out your garden and remain green even when the cold winter weather sends your flowers into a dormant stage.  Evergreen rhododendrons, green juniper, and boxwoods are perfect shrubs for an easy to care for garden.  Because of their small stature they require very little trimming and can thrive in many different climates.  

Gardens that Homebuyers Dislike

The type of garden that will deter a homebuyer is one that is overly complex, high-maintenance, and expensive to care for.  The most unwanted garden is an English garden.  These gardens are known for their large manicured hedges and lush drifts of flowers.  They exude romance and walking through one makes you feel as if you are in a whimsical fairy tale.  However, creating this atmosphere comes with a high price tag and a lot of extra work.  English gardens are known to be large and dominate yard space.  They are a year round chore to maintain and may seem daunting to many homebuyers.  Another garden that homebuyers dislike is a vegetable garden.  While you may love growing your own food, many homebuyers find vegetable gardens to be hard to maintain especially if they have no gardening experience.  In-ground vegetable gardens can take up quite a bit of space.  Some vegetables are prone to disease and insect invasions.  These are all hassles for a homebuyer who has no interest in growing their own food.  Finally, koi pounds are rarely a desired addition to a home.  They may be calming to relax beside but they require constant maintenance.  Everything from filtration systems to water levels need to be checked and maintained every month to keep a healthy pond.  They also present a possible water hazard to homebuyers whl have small children.  In the end all of these gardens can be viewed by potential homebuyers as more of a chore to get rid of or try to maintain if they purchase your home.  

If you are considering selling your home, your first act to up your home’s value should not be adding in a massive flower garden.  Instead, focus on tried and true curb appeal boosters such as a manicured lawn and neatly manicured easy to care for landscaped garden area.  Both of these will add to the value of your home as well as increase the marketability of your home.

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