For any devoted gardener, selling the home that showcases your natural masterpiece certainly can add to the stress already associated with preparing to move. After all, can you trust the new owner to love and nurture the same rich flora you have lovingly tended for so many years?
It’s one of the tougher challenges to selling a house—not for buyers, mind you, who are usually smitten with the lovely landscape the instant they pull up to the home. It’s you, the owner, who must figure out the best way to let go of your beloved garden, while taking advantage of its curb appeal to attract as many potential buyers as possible.
You probably already know that if your new home is located in a planting zone similar to the one you’re in now, and depending on the time of year you move, you can take some of the perennials and bulbs with you. Certain woody shrubs and small trees are a bit riskier, which means planning ahead. If you decide you must take them to your new home, prepare them in advance to avoid shock by root pruning them with a sharp shovel, or clean cut with loppers for more substantial roots just inside the drip line. Tip prune all branches and wait at least three weeks for signs of new growth. When fresh leaves start to appear, it means new root tips are developing at their cut lines, improving the plant’s chances of making it to the new destination in good health.
If you’re moving to a different state, check to be sure of any agricultural restrictions that ban the introduction of some plant species. In addition, if your home’s buyer has seen the plants you intend to move, make sure you have cleared your plans with them or there could be trouble at closing time.
There’s also the chance that your lavish garden might be seen by potential buyers as just more maintenance, or worse—not in keeping with their preference for garden styles. Before placing your property on the market, consider lessening the number of beds containing one specific species by combining them into groups with similar characteristics. If necessary, reduce the number of garden ornamentals to create just a few focal points.
Most buyers will see a beautifully curated garden and assume the inside of your home is equally appealing, making your curbside conservatory an added boost to that all important first impression.
The same principle used to stage the home’s interior for selling can be applied to the home’s outdoor spaces. Nice touches like a pitcher of lemonade and glasses, a fresh floral centerpiece from the garden and perhaps a portable fire pit will help potential buyers imagine how lovely it would be to live here.
Walk through your house and take notes on your views from the inside out. Make sure the outdoor garden views flowsnicely indoors, with complimentary colors and fabrics back-dropped by the garden.
Add a generous layer of fresh mulch (not the colored wood chips that come from mysterious material sources) especially in beds with plants that have yet to fill in. Explain to potential buyers that mulching conserves water, reduces weeding and helps build healthy soil.
If you have been using organic methods to feed your plants and diminish pests, write a list of your methods for the new homeowner. Remind them too that organic solutions are safe for children and pets, and you will have some very happy and grateful new homeowners on your hands.
If you grow fruits and veggies in this garden, you might want to fill a bowl with a generous amount of your fresh edibles for potential homebuyers to see. The more they know about the treasures they’ll be inheriting with this garden, the more determined they’ll be to buy.
The idea is to achieve a speedy sale of your home, and the peace of mind that your beloved garden played a huge role in the sale’s success. Since you must relinquish the garden to the next owner, do all that you can to prepare them to pick up where you left off. Who knows, maybe generations of future gardeners will pass on this lovely tradition that began with you.