Get your garden in gear

Outside of a fresh coat of paint and some modern lighting, there are few things you can do to your home that will do more to the value, for less of a budget than good gardening.

While it can be as simple as making sure the lawn is mowed and edges are neat, the way you tackle the garden – particularly in tropical north queensland(!) – has a massive impact on the way a property will be viewed (and valued) by a prospective buyer or tenant.

When deciding what to address, as always its about removing objections in the first instance and building up from there. Everyone judges a book by its cover and street appeal can be key, so making sure that your home shows its best face out the front is crucial. Big tree dropping fronds and outgrowing its patch? Time to go! You would be amazed the difference the removal of a few trees can make, adding natural light and better exposing the lines of a home.

Out the back, some prudent pruning can also make the difference between a home having a backyard or a jungle. I had one home recently where the gardens had long since overgrown their original beds, narrowing the line between green and house. A good cut back not only provided a better sense of space but even opened up room for side access!

Once back to neutral (or at least navigable), you can then look at what can be added back in to improve the overall look of the home. In your choices here, its worth keeping in mind the theme and what your end goals are. If you are looking for a quick flip (i.e. these are the finishing touches before a sale) then you need to focus on what its going to look like in 2 weeks, not 2 years. Alternatively if you are in for the long haul, then you can afford to start with smaller plants and give things time to grow into the end result. Whatever you do choose, a good bed of mulch is an absolute essential – both for its productive qualities and for the fact a well mulched garden will always look better than the alternative – neat, weed free and very photogenic! Pick plants that suit the environment and in this heat, be prepared to water them regularly!