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We all love a cottage with wisteria around the door, but quick-growing easy-to-maintain alternatives that produce color all year round could be the key to adding value to your home.
Knowing how to plant borders for year around color is all about making careful choices. According to estate agent Andrew Cronan, head of Strutt & Parker’s Bath office (opens in new tab) the right choice could have huge returns.
'Whether that’s an estate with walled gardens or a courtyard garden in a city center, outdoor spaces are an extension of the home itself and so their quality and contents are incredibly important for green-fingered buyers.
Samantha Richards, spokesperson for online retailer Gazeboshop (opens in new tab) advises selecting a mixture of shrubs and trees, plus perennials that respond well to deadheading to ensure months of color. Here are her recommendations for the best plants to add value to your home.
Plants that add value
1. False Indigo
False indigo (Baptisia australis) is a perennial, flowering plant belonging to the Fabaceae or pea family. With other common names, including blue false indigo and blue wild indigo, and blooms with blue, pea-like flowers, it’s native to the southern prairies of North America.
Although they can take up to a year to pop up, false indigo flowers are pest and disease-free, blooming from late spring to early summer every year. They offer shades of blue, purple, and green and eventually fill out like a shrub, making a garden look both full and colorful for a quarter of the year.
And the bonus? Excellent silvery foliage through the fall. They'll make a striking statement whatever season you choose to sell up.
Perfect for gardens that see less sun, hydrangeas can live up to 50 years and prefer partial sun. These popular flowers bloom from summer to fall and can tolerate almost any soil, making them perfect for new gardeners.
Advice for how to grow hydrangeas is simple – keep them well-watered and keep flower heads all winter to provide sculptural interest. Prune only when the threat of frost has gone.
So many people love the idea of attracting birds, insects and wildlife, and there’s a simple easy-to-maintain plant that will help you to grow a wonderful butterfly garden.
For the summer to autumn months, the butterfly bush, also known as buddleia, is guaranteed to entice buyers to a home for sale, says Samantha, just as the shrub attracts butterflies in droves: 'While they can require annual pruning to keep them in shape for the next year, these summer lilacs are worth the little maintenance they require.'
Do bear in mind, that in some part of the US buddleia is considered to be an invasive plant, so there may be restrictions on planting it.
If you want to know how to plant a winter container with lots of colors and even a subtle scent, the viola will do the trick. Available in a huge range of colors and adorable mixed and marbled varieties, and with a long flowering season from autumn through to late spring, violas thrive in shady gardens.
For instant curb appeal, place them in a striking container on either side of the front door.
This pretty pinkish shrub with fill your garden with scent and reach around 3ft in height and width. Daphne doesn’t require frequent watering or pruning, it simply needs a spot where the roots are shaded from the sun, says Samantha. 'For maximum potential, consider planting your daphne in a slightly elevated flower bed so it will grow faster and look even more impressive.'
Choose one of the most popular varieties of deliciously-scented magnolia trees and you’re guaranteed a return on investment. But you’ll need patience. Magnolias can take 10 to 20 years to reach their full potential.
The magnolia is one of Andrew’s favorites. 'Magnolia is having a real resurgence – it’s something previous generations took real pride in, and thank goodness they did, because it’s now a huge feature again,' he says. 'It’s these plants that take years to mature that hold great value because they’re not something you can simply buy in the shops or build over a matter of weeks. Like the owner of a period home, you become their custodian.'
Jayne Dowle is an award-winning gardening, homes and property writer who writes for publications including Sunday Times Home, Times Bricks & Mortar, Grand Designs, House Beautiful and The Spectator. She was awarded the Garden Journalist of the Year accolade at the Property Press Awards in 2021.
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