A general addiction to TV’s gardening programmes is evidence that the most modest outside space benefits wellbeing, especially when deprived of regular face-to-face contact with friends and family during the last year. As ‘lockdown’ eases now is the time to maximise the potential for using that space, welcoming visitors safely and in compliance with whatever rules apply for outdoor entertaining.
This is the future, as some restrictions on socialising are likely to continue, so spending a couple of hours sitting in different parts of the garden with a coffee is a good way to come up with ideas. Relocating seating areas could be one solution, introducing a gazebo to protect guests in all weathers, and moving pots to enable a bar and food service area, alongside a barbecue. Sensitive lighting and a firepit allow entertaining to stretch into the evening.
However, long term solutions are likely to require something more dramatic, making the garden an extension of the home’s comfortable living area; is the access easy and safe for everyone, whatever their age or disability?
Garden designers are skilled at coming up with innovative proposals; they have the detailed knowledge of plants and materials to create beautiful spaces, meeting homeowners’ preferences. The most important thing is to prepare your own brief: do you want your garden to be wildlife friendly and colourful, perhaps with a children’s play area and vegetable plot, or is your priority for low maintenance?
Art and sculpture bring individuality, whilst introducing unmatched recycled or antique furniture add character, ready to be enhanced with a lick of paint in vibrant colours instead of a traditional green or white, complemented by bright cushions and throws; local auctions and specialist websites are a good place to start, offering quality at bargain prices.
Decking, new paving and fencing, plants, trees and installing water features, as well as labour, all add to the cost of a major refurbishment, but it is an investment likely to add value to a property.
Bear this in mind when researching the best professional garden designer, who can tailor designs to suit your lifetyle. As with any building work, seek recommendations and obtain at least three quotations together with outline plans before choosing the most suitable and attractive option. Then set your budget and look forward to realising your aspirations, and many years of enjoyment.
For many people equity release would be the most appropriate way to fund major improvements; our friendly, experienced, team at Premier Equity Release would be delighted to advise – just give us a call.