How to make your garden look good in winter

Q4 2017

A well-maintained garden can boost the value of your property, but in winter, many gardens can look a bit drab. If you’re looking to sell your home this winter, here’s how to make your garden shine.

Many of our gardens look a little bit sad in winter. If you plan several years ahead, then you can introduce enough variety in your planting to make sure your garden looks good all year round. But if you’re looking to sell your home this winter, that’s not much help! Here are some quick fixes to get your garden into shape ready for a winter sale.

Quick fixes to get your winter garden looking good

Firstly, and most importantly, tidy things up. No one expects a winter garden to be blooming with colour, but having neat beds and tidying away compost heaps and spare pots is a must.

Lawns really suffer from footfall in winter, so if you have a regular route through a grassed area, consider laying a path to prevent it becoming a muddy track. Autumn and winter are the best times to lay turf and if your lawn is looking bedraggled and mossy, new turf will give it a visual boost.

Add a splash of colour using containers and window boxes featuring winter-flowering plants, such as pansies, cyclamen and violas. Hellebores (sometimes referred to as Christmas roses or winter roses) are hardy in cold temperatures and flower in late winter and early spring.

Shrubs are often used to add greenery, but they can also add colour to a winter garden. Cornus sanguinea, also known as “Midwinter Fire”, is a beautiful, red-stemmed shrub that will really brighten up your garden. Witch hazel is another great winter option as it has bright yellow, orange or pink flowers.

Garden furniture can suffer from being left out during the winter months, so many people bring it indoors. This can leave parts of your garden or patio areas looking bare and unloved. Check the forecast when you know you’ve got a viewing and, if possible, bring the furniture back out to fill the empty space.

Think about how it will look in the dark

At this time of year, there are more hours of darkness than daylight. Dark evenings and dreary grey days aren’t ideal for showing off your property, but if you get the lighting right, you can make your home stand out from the crowd.

If you have a large garden, then it’s best to focus on one or two small areas, rather than trying to light up every bush and tree. Patios are ideal, particularly if you have all-weather furniture, as prospective buyers can imagine themselves sat outside on a summer evening.

Hang lanterns on surrounding trees to provide low-level illumination and choose lighting that will create a warming yellow glow rather than a cold white light. An outdoor brazier or chimenea can give a cosy feel to an outdoor space and may tempt people outside to admire your garden.

Lighting is also important on the approach to your home. Make sure walkways are well lit and thread fairy lights through trees to welcome visitors up the drive.

Don’t forget practicalities

It’s all very well making your garden look pretty, but you don’t want a potential buyer slipping and hurting themselves when looking around your garden. Frost and rain can make garden paths and decking treacherous. Keep walkways clear of snow, and use sand or ash to melt ice and give extra traction. Scrub any algae off your decking and consider an anti-slip treatment if people are likely to be walking on it.

When it’s pouring with rain, the last thing you want is your visitors getting soaked before they’ve reached the front door. Make sure the prime parking spot is free and consider moving your vehicles off the property or into a garage, so the parking area doesn’t look crowded.