OK, so your house is ready to list! Or is it? Did you remember the garden?
Too often the outside comes as an afterthought if it comes at all. Yet, the first thing a buyer sees is the front garden and generally the last stop is the back garden. People, today, look to the outdoors to entertain, to garden, or simply stretch out in the chaise with a good book. A beautiful garden can be the clincher in selling your home.
Welcome to Digs
And my blog about Staging a Garden.
Staging your garden is not much different than staging your house. You’re looking for the wow factor! I start with a ‘simple’ plan to clean up, add plants, decorate, and maintain. I’ll walk you through my recent garden-stage focusing on a few essentials that turned an overgrown back garden into a tranquil oasis.
This stately Glebe home on Queen Elizabeth Driveway overlooks Ottawa’s Rideau Canal. The front and side yard needed sprucing up. The private back garden needed an overhaul.
With less than two weeks to do the job, and a limited budget, we planned a simple, clean-looking back garden, easy to maintain, using as many existing plants as possible, and added white impatience to brighten things up. Clean and simple meant, hard pruning, getting rid of the grass and weeds, putting down weed cloth,covering the main surface with pea gravel and sprucing up the flower beds.
Pulled weeds, pruned trees & shrubs, tossed broken planters
Turned soil, fertilized, & added mulch to the flower beds
Leveled ground and installed weed cloth,
Raked pea gravel into place .
Split and repositioned hostas from around the property
Planted white impatiens -a nice complement to the variegated hostas
Positioned existing vines to provide interesting back drops.
before and after
Cleaned patio bricks (house view) and garden path (street view)
Divided the garden into two distinct areas (using existing patio furniture)
Eating area, with easy access to the house including table & chairs, a sunbrella, accent plants, and a BBQ (tucked in a corner);
Lounge area to relax under the shade of the mulberry tree
Added the cleaned-up fountain, Buddha and potted plants for a dash of colour
Given the stresses of selling a home with constant cleaning, showings, and open houses you’re better off to hire a garden stager who brings fresh eyes, design sense, and know how to you garden. But for those who are do-it yourselfers I leave you with a few tips.
Keep it simple—remember you are staging not staying on
Sketch out a plan.
Cleanup—roll up your sleeves and don gardening gloves. Get rid of broken furniture, pull the weeds, prune unruly bushes, vines, and trees, and touch up peeling paint. Power clean patios paths and anything looking tired
Replace weedy lawns with pea gravel and simple bushes punctuated with colourful annuals
Use low maintenance, drought-resistant plants (fewer waterings and bugs) suited to your yard (sun or shade) Choose a simple colour scheme that compliments the house. It’s easy to be overwhelmed with the hundred’s of plants (and colours) waiting to confuse you. Sticking to one or two colours will create a greater impact.
Visit the nursery or markets—plant growers are a great source of advice—and talk to neighbours who may have appropriate plants to share.
Turn the soil and add mulch to improve texture and look of soil.
Position new plants in an attractive manner—for impact, place clumps of flowers rather than stringing them out. Place tall, bushy plants at the back of the bed and short ones at the front.
Decorate—think of all the accessories—cushions, paintings, pottery you put out to dress up rooms inside your home. Pay the same attention to your garden. Make it call out to visitors.
Start with a couple of pots of ‘showy’ flowers at the front door. Be sure the pots are in good shape—no room for chips and moss-covered containers. They belong in the garbage. However, if you have a few worthy candidates spruce them up with a paint job.
A front porch can be dressed up with a couple of chairs and bright cushions—an inexpensive (matching) side table with candles adds a homey touch.
In a back garden, a patio table and chairs and/or a couple of chaise lounges with colourful cushions and pots of aromatic herbs or plants such as lavender, near the door, are always inviting.
Prepare a simple sketch with plants numbered and a care plan for watering, fertilizing, deadheading, and pruning. If you’re listing your home off-season, some photographs showing the garden at it’s peak is a thoughtful gesture
Digs .613 236 0050