A garden renovation gives curb appeal and adds value to your property.
It’s not just your house which can benefit from being remodelled – your garden can also blossom after a professional makeover.
The revamp can increase the aesthetic attraction of your home and give it additional curb appeal, while a lovely yard will encourage you to spend more time outside, especially in the cool winter months.
Landscaping has the potential to boost the value of a property by approximately 15 per cent, according to Kurl Knight of Landmark Landscape Design and Construction Ltd.
“For those persons looking to sell their property, a beautiful and well-planned landscape adds curb appeal and increases the likelihood of closing the sale,” he says. “A simple landscape renovation can make a space more inviting and usable.”
“A garden ‘reno’ means undertaking any kind of renovation in a landscape or garden just as you would with a house,” explains Tom Balon of Vigoro Nursery.
“Sometimes it just involves removal of existing foliage. More extensive renovations may require irrigation, and trees and plants to be removed or relocated temporarily, while building takes place. Possibly a new landscape design may be needed.”
However, when planning a garden makeover, it is important to take several aspects into consideration beforehand to ensure the investment will be a long-term success.
And if the makeover is more extensive than adding a pool, it’s best to draw up a plan in advance.
“Firstly, consider the size of the space and how you want to use it,” Kurl advises.
“Will you be entertaining, is it just to be a show garden or somewhere for the kids to play?
Secondly, determine your vision/theme for the garden.”
You can browse through magazines or internet sites and blogs for inspiration, and Kurl also suggests visiting friends’ gardens or looking around other homes in Cayman for ideas.
“Buildings, exposure, sun and shade, pests such as iguanas are all the critical things that need to be considered when planning the renovation,” says Tom.
“The designer needs to consider how the garden will grow. We see, more than we’d like, many garden renovations which come about because the initial design was not considered thoroughly, or extremely overplanted, which is a waste of money.”
Tom points out that when trees and plants go into the ground, they are usually small so at that stage some thought has to be given to the rest of the garden once they grow.
One of the most important aspects to consider before embarking on the renovation is the budget, with ongoing maintenance factored into the financial plan.
The cost of the garden renovation obviously depends on the size of the property and the extent of the makeover.
Remodelling the garden can, however, present an opportunity to save money by using less water, for example,
“Right now I have a couple of clients who are tired of paying the water bill, so we are going to install artificial turf,” says Tom.
“Until now, this has been very costly but we have worked out a much lower installation cost over the past few years, and the (artificial) grass is much better.”
Xeriscaping (landscaping with plants that require little water) and low-maintenance gardens with plants already adapted to Cayman’s climate, could also significantly reduce maintenance costs.
However, if you have cash to splash then consider engaging the services of a landscaper to ensure that there is form and function as well as flow and rhythm to your garden.
“Incorporating elements such as sod instead of grass plugs, mature trees/palms, water features, living walls, landscape lighting and hardscapes can definitely create that wow factor,” says Kurl.
Before undertaking a garden renovation it is important to take into account factors that will affect the new design.
Most importantly, it is vital to consider the type of lifestyle you lead before deciding on a design for your new-look garden.
For example, do you want space for children to play or privacy from neighbours? Do you like a manicured lawn or a softer, natural-style garden?
Once these elements are decided, the budget should be determined for the initial renovation as well as on-going maintenance costs.
Think about things such as where the buildings are positioned in relation to the garden, angles of sun and shade, and whether there are pests such as iguanas.
Garden renovations can be undertaken at any time of year but some landscapers prefer to carry out the work in the rainy season.
“I would recommend the rainy season, but that depends on the extent and type of planting to be used,” Tom advises.
“If it needs to coincide with a building reno, then that usually dictates when it will occur, and as typical, the garden work will probably need to coincide with any construction to make things easy for all tradesmen.”
Unless you have green fingers and lots of time, it’s always a good idea to consult with one of the many landscaping services on-island about a garden renovation and engage their experts to undertake a professional makeover.
“It is proven that if selling a home, a nice garden with curb appeal starts the client off with the right frame of mind so there is definitely value in garden improvements,” says Tom.