The real value of the land beneath our feet is it’s ability to feed and nurture us. But how does that square with the will of property markets? Well we suspected it was coming, and now it’s here. Edible landscaping is coming to be seen by buyers and agents as something that adds significantly to the market value of a property. The era of the lawn is definitely well on the wain, and the harsh rectilinear lines of corporate-style landscaping don’t offer the feelings of comfort that we need at home.
Witness this — recently listed at $2.2-$2.4 million — house in Fitzroy. We’ve stopped and spoken to the owners in the past and congratulated them on their beautiful and prominent vegie beds in the front yard.
The property description highlights these and other the eco-friendly features: “ext. water storage, dble-glazing, solar panels, hydronic slab heating, grey water system & even a vegie garden & hen house.”
Domain also had a recent article about gardening titled “Money grows on trees” in which Sydney based landscaper Pete Hieatt estimates that “$5000 well spent on a garden could draw an extra $50,000 come sale time.” Of four “hot trends” in gardens, journalist Carolyn Boyd puts this as the first:
Just eat it
Taking the lead of popular television shows such as MasterChef and Iron Chef, many of Hieatt’s clients are seeking a vegetable patch. “I get at least 10 inquiries a week about edible gardens,” he says. And the vegie patch is no longer being relegated to the back corner; often it’s in full view of the house. “Now they want to celebrate the cooking part of their lives … so when people come over, they can admire it.”
Citrus, lettuce, tomatoes and Asian greens are high on home owners’ lists of must-haves.
A landscape designer with Green Rooms, Adam Robinson, says almost all of his clients want a herb garden of some sort, along with water tanks.
Many people are interested in a “no dig” garden – which is raised off the ground in a frame made of timber sleepers or corrugated iron and created by twice-layering newspaper, then manure, straw and soil. “It’s a bit like doing a lasagne,” Hieatt says.
Given that an edible landscape saves you money (both on food and doctor’s bills!) the economic arguments for permaculture design are becoming very potent indeed.
If you’re looking for that bling factor in a vegie bed, check out our ethically sourced deluxe Top Shelf Cypress Vegie Beds.