The summer is coming, so it's time to crank up the mower and dig out the secateurs..

After what feels like a very long winter, spring is now definitely in the air and for many that means it's time to oil the mower, sharpen the shears, and check the gardening gloves for creepy-crawlies that may have moved in over the winter months.


The English are well known for our love of gardens, and for many people, a good garden is a deciding factor when buying a house. Interest in the garden used to be the reserve of your parents. It wasn't something people under 30 did, but that has changed over the past 20 years, and people are spending more time outside now than they ever have done before. You don't need to have borders full of rhododendrons or elegant formal lawns to get out and enjoy your garden. A quick look in B&Q or your local Garden Centre will tell you how important gardens are to us Brits.

Garden Centres started sprouting up (see what I did there!) in the 1960's. Prior to that green-fingered types went to a nursery, or ordered seeds by mail-order from a Sunday paper. Now Garden Centres are a multi-billion pound industry with their own awards ceremonies and annual conference. Add to that the space dedicated to outdoor living in your local DIY store, and you get an idea of how important gardens are to us. Whether it's for growing veg, playing football with the kids, or just having somewhere to have a barbecue and a glass of wine, gardens help us enjoy a house. They can be the fun bit, the challenging bit, or the rewarding bit. They can also become a bit obsessive, but let's not go there..

From a property sales point of view, gardens can be a huge asset, or in some cases a deal-breaker. We estate agents love nothing more than a nice south west facing garden - It's a Rightmove bullet point every time and we know it will create plenty of interest. If you are contemplating coming to market, having an appealing front garden is also paramount - first impressions are everything, and a unkempt front garden does nothing for your kerb appeal, or for the marketing photographs.

People thinking of selling sometimes do all the right things internally, but forget to make the most of the garden, yet in most instances the garden is the first thing your buyers will see. The trick is to make the most of what you've got - and start planning early. You often get the best out your garden months after you've done the work, so plan ahead. Hurriedly rushing the mower over grass that's 8 inches high will do nothing for your lawns appearance, and straight away it creates a bad impression to potential buyers. Depending on what you are selling, try to make your garden attractive but requiring as little maintenance as you can. You may be happy spending every weekend pruning and weeding, but your potential buyer may not!

If you're looking for inspiration, why not get yourself to a few Open Garden events over the summer. Here you will see a variety of different styles of garden, and you'll be able to get some handy tips from the homeowner as to what worked and what didn’t. In Nottingham there are a number of Open Gardens, so there is a good choice of different gardens to see and pinch some ideas. Events can be found in Lady Bay in West Bridgford, The Park, Beeston, and in Mapperley Park to name a few. The event closest to home for us is Mapperley Park Open Gardens, the event runs bi-annually and raises valuable funds for a selection of well deserving charities. This years event is being held on Sunday June 26th from 1pm until 6pm. 

Granger & Oaks are pleased to be named as a lead sponsor for Mapperley Park Open Gardens 2016 and we'll be doing whatever we can to make the event a success.

The event has been running for over 30 years and seems to get more popular every time. This year there will be around 15 gardens to visit, and there are a host of things to do with activities for children, and beer and champagne for Mum & Dad, a tombola, tea & cakes, crafts and plant sales. The event in 2014 raised over £10,000 for the chosen charities, and it's hoped that this year's event will achieve even more. Admission is only £4 for adults, and for children it's free, so why not come along and say hello.

Here's hoping that the sun has got his hat on.

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