When it comes to moving house, our lush green gardens can become something of a grey area. Gardener etiquette and code of conduct are notoriously unclear, leaving many buyers vulnerable to becoming victims of cut and run gardening.
A well maintained garden can add up to 20% to the value of you home, so chances are you’ve already been financially rewarded for your hard work. Now you need to step back and think pragmatically about what will fit and what will survive the journey and the new garden.
Moving house can feel like a gamble at the best of times, but attempting to uproot entire flower beds without proper plans or open communication introduces risks which do not always pay off.
So before you slash and adjourn, make sure you’ve checked that both you and the other parties in your property chain are adhering to these three home and garden moving rules.
1 – Be prepared
In at number one: preparation. There’s a reason why this tip tends to top the list of guides to making moving easier; simply put, “you need to avoid making last minute arrangements”.
In terms of gardening, keeping on top of your move will only make the task of moving plants easier. Keeping plants well pruned will stop them from growing too large the time between signing the paperwork and packing boxes.
For some house moves this is only a matter of days, other times it can be months. Having pots ready for transporting selected shrubs at the earliest date is a good idea. Old pots and containers are likely to have incurred damage over the days and it’s best not to be caught out on moving day. It may also be a good idea to repot any house plants as ceramic goods are highly fragile and would benefit from being wrapped in protective layers and transported separately with furniture.
2 – Be realistic
The chances of being able to pack, transport and successfully replant a garden’s worth of flora are slim. Plants come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, and cannot be stacked or neatly organised in moving vehicles in the same way that furniture can. As a result, they take up a lot of space, and with no guarantee that the plants will thrive in their new environment, it’s a move which may end up costing you unnecessary stress, time and money.
Unfortunately, the best time to move house does not coincide with the best time to start moving your garden. Traditionally, people buy and sell houses during the spring and summer months, when gardens are in full bloom. This is great for sellers trying to maximise the appeal of their home, but once the paperwork is signed and the moving day is selected, it’s a struggle to start uprooting selected shrubbery.
The Royal Horticultural Society have identified October and late March as the best times to move established plants. While no two house moves are the same, for many home buyers, this means sacrificing the aesthetic appeal of their home by digging up the garden before peak viewing season, or missing the most opportune moments altogether.
In order to give your plants the best chance of surviving a house move, being selective is crucial.
3 – Be honest
When you communicate your garden plans, it is important to talk to both parties connected to you in the property chain—your buyers and the owners of your new home. In doing this, not only are you being courteous, but you will also be able to prepare for the event of arriving at a stripped back garden.
It may also be rewarding in other ways. If you discover that your buyers have plans to dig up your garden, then you have a chance to whisk anyway any favourites before they are uprooted by new arrivals.
A garden half ripped out is not an attractive site and for your new homeowner, a garden in ruins will not be a welcoming moving in present. Just as you have negotiated which items of furniture to leave behind, you need to tell the new homeowner what plants you plan to take.