Must-have features for the garden
Published: 27 August 2007
New research by Halifax Estate Agents shows that mature shrubs and trees together with a paved patio area are the nation's favoured garden features.
The Halifax also found that the potentially most off-putting features for buyers of prospective properties are general rubbish and mess caused by family pets.
When asked which garden features people would be attracted to in a potential property to buy or to rent, almost two-thirds of people chose shrubs and trees (63%).
More than half (58%) said a flagged patio area would increase the appeal, and almost as many (57%) said a garden shed or greenhouse.
Rose gardens and water features also proved popular, with 42% and 43% respectively indicating they would consider these attractive features.
Just over a third (37%) of people said decking would be an attractive feature - placing it 6th on the list.
Decking proved more popular with younger adults, with well over half (54%) of 16-24 year-olds saying they would be attracted by it. This figure fell to one in five (20%) for those aged 65 and over.
General rubbish proved to be the nation's biggest turn-off, with over two-thirds of people (67%) saying it would put them off the garden of a prospective property.
Close behind was mess from dogs or cats (59%).
The Halifax Estate Agents' study also showed that privacy is important when it comes to choosing a garden.
More than four in ten (43%) of people surveyed said being overlooked by neighbours would put them off.
Privacy was considered more of an issue by those in Anglia (54%), Northern Ireland (52%) and the South West (52%) compared to those in London with under a third (31%) saying it would put them off.
The once loved garden gnome split opinion. Almost one in ten (9%) of those surveyed said a garden with gnomes would attract them to a potential property to buy or rent. Conversely, 17% said it would put them off.