For sale! One low-maintenance garden
We put our house on the market a few weeks ago. It's the usual story - we haven't got quite enough space, we'd like to be closer to a good school for our daughter and, high up on the list, we'd like a bigger garden. Of course, this wish list is exactly that - a wish. The housing market is totally stagnant in Westcliff on Sea, Essex and we've only had one viewing in the six weeks we've been for sale. Somehow, I think we'll be staying put.
But let's pretend we are moving, and that we've had masses of viewings, because that gives me lots to say about my garden. First of all, and this is something I guess we all know, estate agents do not understand a thing about gardening. The particulars outlining what our house has to offer describe the back garden as 'commencing with a paved seating area with low-maintenance shrubs and a raised fishpond'. What a complete load of old rubbish. I told the agent, Scott I think his was called, that the garden was anything but low maintenance but he seemed to think that no lawn means no effort. There's no lawn because there are lots of plants. A lot of plants that need a lot of effort. I do have a raised fishpond, and I do have a seating area, so I'll concede there.
Of course, Scott didn't venture outside in his shiny suit and pointy shoes to take a proper look at the 'low-maintenance shrubs' he describes, and if someone does buy our house expecting a low-maintenance garden they're going to get a shock come the summer. The copious herbaceous plants, giant gunnera, even more giant tetrapanax and the towering arundo donax will all spring to life, transporting the new owners to Jurassic Park in no time at all.
Of course in reality this won't happen, because I'm going to dig up all of my plants and take them with me to my new garden, leaving the new owner with nothing but a gravel path and bare borders. Ha, that'll teach Scott. I think there might be rules that say I'm legally bound to leave my 'low-maintenance shrubs' where they are, but as I don't have any of those I reckon I'll be fine. And I'll leave the pond and the seating area, meaning I'm fulfilling two thirds of the deal anyway.
But can I be bothered with the faff? How on earth will I begin to lift and pot up countless plants from the ground, not to mention move several huge containers, a massive potted olive tree and an equally massive potted trachycarpus? There'll be loads to do indoors, and I can't imagine my wife will take too kindly to me diving into the garden every five minutes to dig up a few plants. And will I need an extra removal van just to shift them all? If so, how much is that going to cost? And will they all survive the move anyway?
It's probably a good job we've had zero interest. The thought of shifting an entire garden, low-maintenance or otherwise, is enough to put anyone off moving.
What are you experiences of moving garden? Have you got any advice to share?