The world’s greatest flower show may have been pushed back to September due to the pandemic, but green fingered horticulturists are fully embracing their gardens this summer – in fact, they have been for the last fourteen months!
Having been cooped up at home for over a year this is of no surprise – for those lucky to have outdoor space that is. People who have been living in apartments haven’t had quite the same luxury – not unless they have a ground floor flat or live somewhere with communal gardens to enjoy.
This is very noticeable with the enquiries I have received from both local and London property buyers. Homes with pretty gardens have always been very popular, but outdoor space has never been quite so important like it is now. It’s not just about having a large freshly mowed lawn anymore. Other aspects are now expected, many of which feel like we’re taking a step back in time to how gardens used to be.
What do country house hunters ask for in their gardens now?
- Colourful flowers and shrubs for every season
- Vegetable / kitchen garden
- Walled garden
- Summer house to relax and unwind in, offering a sense of escapism
- Stone bridge
- Green house
- Shaded areas with mature trees
- Wild meadows
- Glorious communal gardens for apartment owners – this is especially true today, particularly from downsizers. They are either looking for a smaller village house or homes within grand country houses which boast spectacular gardens and grounds they can enjoy. The King Edward VII Estate in Midhurst is a classic example of this, where you can find a one/two bed-apartment for less than £500,000.
With this list, I am reminded of one of my favourite proverbs…. “A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit.” I feel today’s country house buyer is inheriting a part of the history of a garden, along with the love and devotion given to it, because the previous owners would have spent a lot of time designing the grounds and spending money to care for them. Of course, people are also looking for all the mod cons such as patios for al fresco dining, swimming pools, tennis courts and so on as a result of Covid-19, but the generation of 2020/2021 are inheriting these glorious established gardens from their parents or grandparents which we haven’t seen for sale for decades, and are now selling them.
For example, I recently acquired an attractive period house in Harting off-market. Nestled within a tranquil village setting which has no passing traffic – a rarity in today’s world – the house had a glorious well-established garden that offered seclusion and amazing views – exactly what my client was looking for. They were the only buyers to view the house and consequently I was able to secure it for them.
Last year in Slindon, I found a stunning village home for a client with land, beautiful gardens and grounds that had been well maintained by the previous owner for many years. The house benefitted from colour and variety in the flowers and shrubs, mature trees to sit under in the shade plus a kitchen garden and walled garden. There was also a spectacular magnolia tree, an archway which led to an apple and pear orchard and a pergola covered in climbing roses and honeysuckle. These were key selling points for my client. The property sold off market where again, they were the only buyer.
Meanwhile in West Wittering, I showed a client a stunning house which had a wild meadow, landscaped gardens, mature shrubs and trees with views over farmland which the buyers fell in love with immediately. They made an offer the next day.
To stand a chance of owning such a garden as above, you need a budget of at least £1million in West Sussex and be able to act quickly. Homes with this type of offering are being snapped up, often with multiple bidding wars from competitive purchasers if they’re on the open market. Having said that, many of these transactions are happening off market where the competition is less intense as most buyers don’t know they’re for sale unless they’re using a buying agent. This is one of the many reasons house purchasers ask me for help with their search because I am aware of what is being sold discreetly. Often, my clients will be the only buyer looking at the property as a result.
Find Out More
For any questions about finding your dream home with a glorious garden, please do get in touch with myself, Jennie Hancock, via e-mail (email@example.com), phone (+44 7776452128), or LinkedIn.