4 min readThere are plenty of ways you can create a tenant-friendly garden and it doesn’t mean replacing lawn with pavers or concreting up all your garden beds.
Whilst not all tenants have green thumbs, many are attracted to certain rental properties because of the gardens and are enthusiastic about looking after them. The trick is of course, to make the green spaces attractive, easy to maintain and cost-effective. Here are some practical tips on design, plant choices and maintenance for creating a tenant-friendly garden.
First up, the aim should be to create a low maintenance garden as tenants are more likely to look after the green spaces if they’re relatively simple and and easy to manage. Complicated, fussy gardens with high-maintenance plants that require ongoing attention may be too much for the tenant to cope with and they may then be inclined to let the garden go.
There are plenty of easy-care plants, shrubs and trees that you can plant in a low-maintenance garden that look attractive without requiring too much TLC.
Creating a tenant-friendly garden is also about minimising the potential for things to go wrong, so if there are some areas where plants or grass simply don’t grow or which will always look untidy and unkempt, it would be worth considering putting in attractive, maintenance-free paving.
Hardy plants that don’t require a lot of pruning are the best options when creating a tenant-friendly garden. Examples include murraya paniculata, photinia, lillypilly, viburnum, magnolias, willow myrtle, bottle brush, ladanum, star jasmine and buxus, but there are many different options available and you should get expert advice from your local nursery to get the best plant for your particular situation. Surprisingly, roses are hardy and flourish even without too much attention so they can be an attractive addition in a tenant-friendly garden.
One of the most painstaking garden maintenance jobs is edging and unless you’re a dab hand with the whipper snapper, it can be tricky to prevent grass from invading the garden and to keep edges looking neat and tidy. A good tip is to edge garden beds with bricks, specially designed pavers, steel or tough PVC edging material which looks neat and makes preventative maintenance so much easier.
Fill in the gaps
Experienced property investors know what a bonus a tenant-friendly garden is and mulching is a quick, easy and effective way of keeping things neat and tidy and minimising maintenance.
Weeds love empty space and no-one loves weeding so it’s a smart move to fill in the gaps around shrubs, garden beds, pot plants and trees with mulch or with hardy, fast-growing ground cover. This does a multitude of good things for the garden including keeping pesky weeds at bay, protecting plants and keeping moisture in the soil.
Spreading a layer of mulch around the garden beds and in pots is also an effective way of making the area look more presentable and tidy with relatively minimal cost and effort.
The advice from experienced property managers in areas where water is a scarce resource is that a water-wise garden is the way to go. That doesn’t have to mean rows upon rows of succulents, but it does mean choosing drought-tolerant plants and shrubs that can take the heat. Your local nursery will be able to make suggestions based on the soil type, location and orientation of the property and it’s a good idea to choose native Australian plants instead of exotics.
Hedge your bets
Hedging is another excellent option for a tenant-friendly garden. They look neat and provide an attractive barrier for a garden that may not look so good behind the hedge. Generally, they only require a trim two or three times a year, which is very manageable for tenants and there are plenty of fast-growing and hardy hedging options available, including lilly pilly, buxus, rosemary, westringia and coprosma.
Creating a tenant-friendly garden is about clever design and thoughtful planting and as any experienced property management firm will attest, an appealing garden plays a big part in attracting and retaining quality tenants.