Country houses for sale

The six flowers to grow to add value to your property

The world has changed, and with it the tastes of house buyers — not least with their determination to buy a place with a garden. And what's in that garden can help sway a decision.

Almost from the moment that the property market re-opened in May, estate agents have been reporting that the preferences of buyers has changed. Demand for proximity to offices, pubs and stations, they report, has slackened, while everyone now wants nice gardens and home offices.

Those sweeping generalisations have been borne out by a couple of new pieces of research. House builder Redrow’s survey of 2,000 people found that ‘60% of respondents stated that having access to private outdoor space will be a major factor when choosing their next home.’

Community spirit also got a thumbs-up in the survey, with 23% of people saying that they’ll make ‘a more concerted effort to meet their neighbours when they next move’.

We’re not sure what that says about the 77% (they surely won’t all be doing dirty looks and shuffling past with their heads down?) but let’s be charitable and assume that they accidentally missed that question. In any case, our relationship with our homes is changing: ‘More time spent in the home has made us reconsider how we use the space that we have and how our homes can adapt to more permanent change in the future,’ says Redrow’s James Holmear.

Perhaps even more intriguing is the research by an online marketplace called OnBuy, looking more specifically at gardens — and from the perspective of a motivated seller. Some 67% of the 3,400 people surveyed are apparently more likely to view a house if the garden looks good in the online listing, as it means ‘less work and better views’.

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‘Yes,’ I hear you cry, ‘but which plants do the business?’. You’ll be delighted to hear that they asked that exact question. Here are the top 10 flowers, with the percentage of people who mentioned them as desirable:

1. Hydrangeas – 78%

Hydrangeas are as wonderful to touch as they are to behold — perhaps even more so. So why don't we do it more?

Hydrangeas are as wonderful to touch as they are to behold — perhaps even more so. So why don’t we do it more?

2. Lilies – 71%

Flowers from Lilium auratum var platyphyllum (Golden rayed lily)

Flowers from Lilium auratum var platyphyllum, the golden-rayed lily.

3. Lavender – 64%

Border Collies are definitely happier in fields than on sofas...

Add a cute dog to the lavender and buyers will really go nuts…

4. Shrub Roses – 57%

RHS Rosemoor

The Shrub Rose Garden in June, RHS Rosemoor.

5. Mimosa/Acacia dealbata – 51%

6. Petunia – 42%

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