Appearances matter

By Scott Bentley

Appearances matter

We’ve talked before about kerb appeal and making a property inviting to prospective buyers.

Now, let’s think about keeping it looking good over summer, when the sun’s beating down, it’s hot and dry. This is when the garden begins to wilt, when there’s a risk of lawns dying off, especially if there are water shortages, and plants and shrubs might not be looking their best. Those pesky spiders might also be having a ball spinning their webs under the eaves, and dry leaves gather in the guttering.

A watering system is essential, especially if you’re not resident all the time at your property. It doesn’t have to be expensive - a perforated hose connected to a tap with a battery-operated timer (available at major hardware stores) can do the job - just a once a week watering will work.

Consider putting in drought-resistant plants. Natives are ideal, because they’ve evolved to thrive in our climate. Examples are the Marlborough rock daisy, coprosma, hebes, dwarf kowhai, lancewoods. There are plenty of drought tolerant flower varieties as well you can pop in the ground for instant colour and contrast - dianthus, geranium, salvia and lots more.

A drought- tolerant grass for the lawn is also helpful, and worth thinking about for an autumn sowing if you’re looking longer-term. These types of grass have broader blades and are slow-growing.

Also, plenty of compost in the ground will help keep moisture in, as will good mulch.

Keeping up appearances over summer doesn’t have to be labour intensive. Just think smart and your property will stay looking good.

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