Investing in good landscaping design not only makes your living experience delightful, it also adds to the market value of the property. A beautiful outdoor space is also a popular spot in the home to relax and have fun times. Hence, adequately planned outdoor landscaping has many advantages than just enhancing a home’s aesthetics.
“The vast majority of people, when asked about their dream home, are going to mention a well-maintained garden,” says Sangeetha B., deputy CEO of Al Fajer Facilities Management. “Well-designed and immaculately manicured gardens routinely add 8-15 per cent to real estate appraised values. Statistics reveal that a property with trees is as much as 20 per cent more likely to be saleable.”
When selling a home, the garden is certainly an added advantage. “The property is likely to sell faster as the next owner doesn’t have to construct the garden from scratch,” says Naser Ahmed, Group CEO of Tanseeq Investment Group of Companies.
According to Ahmed, landscaping requires a proper balance of soft (lawns, trees, plants, flowers, ground covers) and hard elements (timber decking, stone, concrete paving, water features and outdoor furniture). “The garden will be most aesthetically pleasing if it is designed with one style in mind, e.g. Mediterranean, contemporary, European, Arabic,” he says.
Ease of maintenance is equally essential, he adds. One should have automated maintenance support whenever possible, such as an automatic irrigation system. “One of the best ways to increase the utility and aesthetics of the garden is to stylishly incorporate multiple elements of landscaping, such as pergolas, gazebos, cabanas, water features, outdoor play equipment and a barbecue area,” adds Ahmed.
Landscapes should serve multiple functions, says Sajid Kagadi, business development manager of GreenKeeper Landscaping and Irrigation Works. These include creating a habitat and microclimates, fixing nitrogen in the soil, cleaning the air and producing food. “Trees planted and well maintained can significantly absorb sound waves and reduce noise pollution,” says Kagadi. “Also, green spaces have psychological benefits and directly contribute to a person’s general wellbeing. Moreover, trees properly selected and planted in the right direction lower heating and cooling cost.”
Tips and tricks
For small backyards, Kagadi suggests a vertical garden, making use of outdoor fences, walls or railings to hang plants, herbs and more. “Use plants that are weather-tolerant,” he says. “Soil additives can also be used to increase the water holding capacity.
Evergreen shrubs planted at a distance of 2-3 ft from the foundation creates an insulating layer around the home, reducing heating costs. “Deciduous trees planted around a home have been known to reduce heating bills by up to 15 per cent due to passive solar heating,” says Sangeetha B. “When shaded by small trees or large shrubs, the efficiency of air conditioning can increase by up to 10 per cent. Trees are also natural atmospheric purifiers. Trees and bushes are highly effective windbreakers, and can reduce heating bills by up to 40 per cent.”
She adds that good landscape planning can lower the costs associated with air conditioning by 15-50 per cent and heating by 2-8 per cent. “Thoughtful home landscaping can save enough energy to pay for itself in less than eight years if it is well maintained,” she says.