It’s no secret that a well-thought-out garden can add tremendous value to your home, but according to experts, many overlook the extra value a wildlife-friendly garden could create.
A growing trend is a wildlife-focused garden that won first prize at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.
Garden wildlife expert and Ark Wildlife director Sean McMenemy has gathered insights from property specialists revealing how gardening for wildlife could add up to almost £30,000 in extra value to a house.
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Fiona Jenkins, gardening expert at MyJobQuote, said, “A well-designed wildlife garden could add between 5% and 20% to the value of your home, depending on its size and location.
That could be up to £27,000 for an average UK home.
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To help those looking to increase their home’s value and attract potential buyers, Sean has put together his own wildlife gardening tips while gathering information from real estate agents and home buying experts.
1. Appeal to people’s aspirations
Jonathan Rolande, founding member of the National Association of Property Buyers and director of House Buy Fast, says, “When people walk into a home, pleasant smells can help them imagine themselves living there.
“A wildlife-friendly garden full of fragrant flowers can really help with that, potentially helping you sell the house quickly and for more.
“People also embrace a certain lifestyle when viewing a property – and many imagine themselves tending to a lovely garden. Unconsciously, they will then prefer the property and perhaps pay a little more.
Sean advises planting bee-friendly flowers to achieve this. He said: “In recent years, the importance of bees as pollinators has been widely recognized and conservation efforts are underway. You can play your part by planting flowers like geraniums, lavender, and open dahlias, or herbs like marjoram, sage, and chives.
“So your garden will look and smell great, and you’ll be helping the bees spread flowers and fruit around the neighborhood.”
2. Take a step back from maintenance
Nick Lewis-Smith, director of Michael Anthony Estates, said: “Even the smallest garden or outdoor space is more likely to add value to a home if it is lush and in a natural enough location to attract the wildlife. And while gardens do need maintenance, gardening to accommodate wildlife means taking on a lighter touch with that maintenance.
Sean added: “More grass means more habitat for all kinds of animals. You can achieve a beautiful look with a mix of herbs and wildflowers, aided by using wildflower seed balls.
“Remember to plan it carefully, so it looks designed, rather than sloppy.”
3. Find a balance
George Clover, Partner at Helmores Estate Agents, said: “Most people love wildlife and in small gardens they could add a pond or a large insect hotel or plant specific plants and flowers to attract insects and the birds.
“This means gardens can be beautiful and usable while attracting wildlife for the enjoyment and benefit of the ecosystems we share.
“A well-designed garden that incorporates all the elements for enjoyment and wildlife could add up to 10% on the average UK property compared to a bare garden.”
Sean recommends water games as a fantastic way to achieve this balance. He said: “The water sources provide habitats for frogs, newts, dragonflies and of course visiting birds that need a bath.
“The best position for a watering hole is a place that gets lots of sunlight. You can attract more wild animals by placing plants, flowers and logs there, which will also improve the appearance of buyers.
“I would opt for birdbaths over ponds if I was considering adding value to the home, depending on the type of your property, as ponds might keep away families with young children who need of a safe garden space.”