Around 1.25 million Britons plan on spending more than £1,000 improving their gardens this year, according to research from Sainsbury’s Bank Home Insurance.
Equally, figures from the Office of National Statistics point out that the average household spends nine-and-a-half minutes a day gardening.
A popular pursuit, maintaining the gardens is a hobby many house-hunters aspire to when ferreting out a country house and the state and scope of the garden can play a large part when choosing the right rural dwelling.
House finder Philip Selway from The Buying Solution says gardens fall mainly into two camps: established gardens with mature trees or gardens that the new owner ‘blitzes’ in order to start a new one from scratch, which is a growing trend.
‘They change the shape of the house and the shape of the garden to go with it,’ he explains.
Some keen horticulturists plant entire mature avenues of trees, which costs an absolute fortune, Mr Selway points out. ‘They can easily spend half a million pounds on the garden, almost as much as will be put towards renovating the house.’
Not everyone wants a high-maintenance garden, however. Mr Selway suggests installing irrigation systems and plants that will survive droughts.
And spending half a million pounds on the garden doesn’t necessarily add to the value of the house, but ‘it will improve its desirability if it is in competition with another,’ he adds.
Here are three country homes currently for sale with fabulous gardens to suit different budgets and tastes.
Talhenbont Hall, Criccieth, Gwynedd £2.75 million
Grade-II listed 17th century manor house, once a garrison for Cromwell’s army, with 75 acres of formal gardens and ancient woodland. The gardens include a Japanese water garden, putting green, tennis court and picturesque pools and ponds, as well as one-and-a-half miles of double bank fishing on the Afon Dwyfach. Carter Jonas Bangor 01248 360410
Bussock Mayne, Newbury Bershire £3.5 million
Six-bedroom country house set in over 27 acres with a stunning collection of over 250 varieties of trees. The landscaped gardens are by Sir Harold Hillier. Savills 01635 277700
Broomfield Ride, Oxshott, Surrey £4.1 million
This house of Georgian-inspired design has mature south east facing gardens in the heart of the Crown Estate. The house is well screened with a sweeping carriage driveway. Hamptons International Esher 01372 468411