Take it easy with landscaping
SPRING has well and truly sprung but before you pull on those gardening gloves, it’s worth understanding a few important points about landscaping your home.
Landscape architect and horticulturist David Scassola says it is better for working families to plan a landscape that is low maintenance.
‘‘Most people don’t have time to mow a big lawn or spend six hours trimming hedges these days,’’ he says.
‘‘So often it’s better if they have more gardens with lots of flowering plants rather than lots of turf, which can become time-consuming.
‘‘The other option is to install a hard pavement like gravel or steppers, which are large, flat pavers.’’
With Queenslanders increasingly moving their entertaining to outdoor areas, Mr Scassola says a popular option is to make a garden an extension of a home.
‘‘There has been a trend in the past to landscape the backyard so it’s like an outdoor kitchen,’’ he says.
‘‘Now this has progressed to a point where people are installing greenwalls out there with herbs and vegetables growing from them.
‘‘It’s a pretty nice lifestyle where you can pick your vegetables from around your outdoor kitchen.’’
Belle Property Graceville principal Martin Hood says people in Cairns are in the fortunate position of being able to use the sun to their advantage.
‘‘If you can utilise the north-east corner of your property for an outdoor living area, it can add value to the place,’’ he says.
‘‘In summer that area will generally be cool in the afternoon, because it’s where the breeze usually comes from, but in the winter it will often get the warm morning sun.
‘‘If you can build an outdoor entertaining area there, which is almost essential to have in Queensland, it can greatly benefit your property.’’
Before people start work on a new pergola and barbecue area, it’s worth having a look at the front of the property.
Mr Hood says that for those selling their home, this is the most important area to landscape because it is the first view people have of a house.
‘‘First impressions of a property are very important,’’ he says.
‘‘A lot of people will drive past to have a look and if it’s well-presented it can actually pull them in.
‘‘Also, they will be less likely to search for flaws inside – which they can then use to bargain with – if the outside is wellpresented.’’