How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Staging the Garden
The garden is a part of the external face of the house. It may well be seen by passers-by and people next door.
Depending on the climate, the garden may be oppressed with heat, soaked by rain or frozen solid. If you are lucky, it may be a pleasant place all year around.
The front garden is particularly decorative and gives those important first impressions, particularly on the walk up to the front door. The back garden is more for you. It is where children play and families relax when it is pleasantly warm. It is where barbecues and outdoor parties are held.
A house may have one or several gardens, each of which may have a different purpose. Whatever this is, the garden should look neat and tidy such that the viewer either puts themself into the garden or imagines others complimenting them on having such a nice garden.
When looking at a garden, the pathways form lines which lead the eye forward and into the scene. They can march directly or wander gently around.
Repair any broken path elements and consider re-laying unpleasant ones and even laying new ones.
The lawns are large, green areas, where people play and walk. Visually, they both fill in between features and provide a natural green cast to the picture.
Make sure the lawns are neatly cut, preferably with a roller to give a 'striped' effect. Use a strimmer to cut grass around edges that the mower cannot reach. Ensure a cleanly cut edge where the lawn meets the edge of a flower-garden.
Remove any major weeds in the lawn. If there are any missing or worn patches of grass, either seed this (in plenty of time) or replace with cut turf. Use lawn fertilizer to help green it up.
Lawns that go right up to fences can seem rather bland. It is better to have a strip of garden or bushes to blend these together.
The tedium of large lawns can be broken up with curved edges, flower beds and ornaments, but beware of these obstructing a better view.
Flowers can immensely brighten up a garden with a display of natural color. Pick flowers that fit together, both in shape and color. There are lots of books and experts who can help.
As well as color, consider the height of flowers and bushes. Positioned well, the higher plants will be behind, providing a neat curve upwards into the background.
If you have a brilliant seasonal display and can think ahead, put the house on the market when these are in bloom. Otherwise go out and buy plants to create a good impression.
You can spend more on expensive specimens, but there are many inexpensive and colorful flowers you can use. If you know ahead of time when you will move, you can buy the plants when they are smaller and less expensive.
Hanging baskets are a good way of raising the flowers to eye level and add a further attractive, if temporary aspect to the house. These may often be bought complete and ready to hang, or you can compose your own.
Window boxes are another way of lifting the beauty of flowers and are a good way of decorating an apartment. A row of red flowers as you look through a window will brighten even the dreariest of scenes.
Green is the color of nature and people will naturally relax and feel good when they see it. Grass and bushes can help this. Bushes help fill empty space and are relatively maintenance-free, although you should ensure your bushes are neatly trimmed without cutting off all the leaves! A good pruning a while before the house is put on the market will give these time to recover and look more natural.
Trees are larger forms of greenery and come in all shapes and sizes, from not much more than a bush to enormous forest varieties. Their height means they make excellent boundaries and are often found at the edges of properties.
A few different types of specimen trees or bushes can be used to create a feature within the garden. Trees can also be used to create and separate space.
Ensure the pool is clean and clear. Pull back any covers and do scoop out any leaves just before your visitors arrive.
Poolside relaxing chairs and other furniture can add to the atmosphere, though beware of them crowding any narrow spaces.
Patios look best when they have something on them, rather than being an empty expanse of stonework. A neat matching table and chairs helps. Use potted plants, all in flower. A hanging basket or so also helps brighten up and warm the place.
Garden furniture should be clean and working. Do throw out anything with rotting timbers. Scrub and re-stain other wood furniture. Contrasts can be made with care, such a having a white greenhouse or red seat by a brightly hued bed of flowers.
Furniture, especially if it is higher, causes a visual stop point and can block views, so move these to the side unless you want them to be a focus of attention.
There may be a range of different buildings within the garden space, such as garden sheds, greenhouses, loggias, and so on.
As buildings are large, they can easily obstruct views. They do, however, make good end-stops to vistas, and can usefully act to block out undesirable views outside the property.
Garden buildings should usually be painted to blend into their environment, so wooden items should be stained such as dark brown or green. Use contrast and brightness with great care as the size of building can make this overpowering.
Barbecues can get quite blackened from use. If you have one, scrub it clean and replace as necessary any metalwork. Avoid having any barbecues for a while before visits as smells can hang about.
Be careful with ornaments such as statues -- these can be very personal in terms of taste. What looks good to you may put off a prospective buyer.
One larger piece creates a focus. Smaller pieces provide rest points as the eye scans the scenery.
Garden ponds can be a nice features, surrounded with a rockery and waterfall to give a nice 'tinkling' sound. Make sure these fit in well with their surroundings. Ponds can get green, smelly and overgrown, so ensure these are neat and clear.
Ensure verandahs are clear and open, with just a couple of seats and maybe a swing. Get rid of any clutter of odd seats and so on.
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