From outdoor rooms and barbecue kitchens to native plants and screening trees, we’re obsessed with gardens. And it’s no surprise because a beautiful garden will add considerable value to a home.
Even apartment dwellers are getting in on the act with clever courtyards and lush balconies.
If you’re looking for inspiration, the experts at Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show provide a chance to chat about your green dreams.
Garden designer Phillip Withers knows a thing or two about maximising the potential of outdoor spaces.
He’s just moving out of his own Richmond apartment where he transformed a tiny space into a green oasis.
“The welcome and calm factor of a garden will help sell a home,” he says. “It will add an extra 10 to 20 per cent.”
Withers, who won top prize at last year’s Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show with a playful combination of plants, paving and timber, often designs gardens for people with big budgets.
But, he says, you can also achieve a good garden by planting creatively.
“People spend millions on a house but forget that to create a home you need to get the garden right. It really gives you a sense of place.”
Withers, who studied fashion and screenprint design before changing to landscape design, is a believer in the power of plants.
“When you put a plant in a house, it creates a home,” he says.
Withers says views of the garden from inside the house are important because they connect people and place. With imagination, a garden can create a feeling of escape and contentment.
Using indigenous plants gives people a sense that they are living in Melbourne.
Those who live in apartments and townhouses often make the mistake of cluttering their outdoor spaces.
“The view from the inside is even more vital in a small space,” he says.
His own lush balcony garden in Richmond was achieved by layering, choosing plants carefully and a smart design plan.
Withers will demonstrate his skills by designing the first Welcome Garden at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show this year. The biodiverse mini garden offers a place to relax or listen to talks by experts.
How to add value to your garden
- Consider space and use carefully;
- Treat a view with respect;
- Think about the connection between inside and outside;
- Try to integrate the outdoors and indoors as it will add value to your life and property.
- Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, March 21-25, Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens.