A trend gaining momentum, it was a wildlife-focussed garden winning the top prize at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.
Garden wildlife expert, and director of Ark Wildlife, Sean McMenemy, has gathered insight from property specialists, revealing how gardening for wildlife could add up to almost £30,000 of extra value to a home.
Gardening expert at MyJobQuote, Fiona Jenkins, said: “A well-designed wildlife garden could add between 5% and 20% to your house value, depending on its size and your location.”
That could be as much as £27,000 for the average UK home.
Top tips for wildlife gardening to add value to your home
To help those looking to boost their home’s value and attract potential buyers, Sean has put together his own top tips for wildlife gardening along with gathering insight from estate agents and property buying experts.
1. Appeal to people’s aspirations
Jonathan Rolande, founding member of The National Association of Property Buyers and director of House Buy Fast, says: “When people walk into a house, pleasant smells can help them imagine themselves living there.
“A wildlife-friendly garden, full of fragrant flowers, can really contribute to this, potentially helping you sell the house quickly and for more.
“People also buy into a certain kind of lifestyle when they view a property – and many visualise themselves looking after a nice garden. Subconsciously, they’ll then prefer the property and may pay a bit more for it.”
Sean advises planting bee-friendly flowers to help achieve this. He said: “In recent years, the importance of bees as pollinators has been widely recognised and conservation efforts are underway. You can play your part by planting flowers like geraniums, lavender and open dahlias, or herbs such as marjoram, sage and chives.
“Then your garden will look and smell great, and you’ll be helping bees to spread flowers and fruit around the neighbourhood.”
2. Take a step back from maintenance
Nick Lewis-Smith, director at Michael Anthony estate agents, said: “Even the smallest garden or outdoor space is more likely to add value to a home if it’s lush and somewhere that looks natural enough to attract wildlife. And although gardens need maintenance, gardening to welcome wildlife means adopting a lighter touch with that maintenance.”
Sean added: “More grass means more habitats for all kinds of animals. You can achieve a beautiful look with a mix of grasses and wildflowers, helped along by using wildflower seed balls.
“Just remember to plan it carefully, so it looks designed, rather than neglected.”
3. Strike a balance
George Clover, Partner at Helmores Estate Agents, said: “Most people like wildlife and in smaller gardens they could be adding a pond or big bug hotel or planting specific plants and flowers to attract insects and birds.
“This means that gardens can be beautiful and usable but still attract wildlife for pleasure and the good of the ecosystems we share.
“A well-designed garden that incorporates all the elements for enjoyment and wildlife could add up to 10% on the average UK property over a bare garden.”
Sean recommends water features as a fantastic way to strike this balance. He said: “Sources of water provide habitats for frogs, newts, dragonflies and, of course, visiting birds in need of a bath.
“The best position for a water feature is somewhere that enjoys plenty of sunlight. You can attract more wildlife to it by placing plants, flowers and logs around it, which will also improve the look for homebuyers.
“I’d go for bird baths over ponds when considering adding house value, depending on your property type, as ponds could steer away families with young children in need of a safe garden space.”