Garden

Has your house got pavement appeal?

Many people pay a great deal of attention to their home interiors and gardens, but how many give serious thought to the first visual impression that their house makes on visitors? Landscape consultant Nick Spargo of Spargo Landscape Consultants offers some clever ideas to revitalise your pavement. 

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When it comes to property, first impressions really matter. If the pavement outside your house looks shabby, overgrown or neglected, it immediately tells any prospective buyers that the same may apply inside. That first impression can be hard to shift. Spargo says, “Your pavement is the first visual aspect of what people can expect on the inside of your property and you can often tell a lot about a property owner by the way they tend to their pavement. A sloppy, dirty, pavement with overgrown bushes gives you the feeling that the house is in the same state. A well-maintained pavement generally gives you the feeling of a well-kept, tidy garden and house.”

 


GOOD TO KNOW
If there are trees on your pavement which need to be removed or pruned, it’s important to remember that those trees don't belong to you, they belong to the municipality. There is a high fine for removing them without the municipality's authority, cautions Spargo.



Create some interest
“Take note of the traffic flow, pedestrians, slope, water run-off and irrigation needs,” advises Spargo.  He recommends that you sketch ideas on a piece of paper, take photos from magazines or of other pavements that you like. Take the time to investigate plants, ornaments, structural features and colours.
Creating a focal point on what is usually a long, narrow strip of land can be a challenge. “I generally look at the walls, height, colours, slope and angle of the verge,” advises Spargo. A narrow strip of land usually means that planting will have to be low, with taller trees starting to bush out from about 2m upward.
Pathways add interest to a pavement. “The colours, textures and fragrances which one can get when walking along a verge is always rewarding,” he comments. He recommends using materials such as cobblestone edging, which can be used to separate the planted area from the walkway, crushed stone – use weed guard below to help deter weeds – and sleepers, paving or stepping stones. “Just ensure the spacing between is not too hard or out of proportion – there is nothing worse than needing to take either huge or tiny steps,” he advises. Ensure the pathway is well-lit at night, both for convenience and for security.
What about the cost?
“You don’t have to spend a vast fortune on your pavement,” says Capela. “Any improvements will be beneficial to the overall appeal of your property, especially when they are sympathetic to the look and feel of the house on the other side of the wall and carries the overall feeling through to the pavement,” he comments. When thinking of a budget, also bear in mind that you’re unlikely to recoup the costs when you sell your house.
If budget is an issue or you feel overwhelmed by the task at hand, Spargo has some sensible advice. “Focus on the space just next to the entrance. Take it in stages and initially, focus on the areas around the intercom, pathways to the post box and security,” he recommends.
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GOOD TO KNOW
Remember to get irrigation done before you do the initial planting. “There is nothing worse than having your garden dug up after you have already invested substantial time and money in it,” cautions Nick Spargo.


 

Avoid common mistakes
“A classic mistake is not knowing how big trees and shrubs grow to become and not knowing if the plants have aggressive roots. It is always a good thing to check up on,” recommends Spargo.
Another overlooked area is lighting, which is so important for security and beauty at night. “Too few people invest properly in it. So much money can be wasted if this is not looked into correctly. Pavements should be kept open visually. Hijacking is a major problem, so keep your plants fairly low and not too overgrown. If you have shrubs and trees, use either floodlights or motion sensor lights behind them,” advises Spargo.

 


GOOD TO KNOW
If you don’t want to tackle your pavement on your own, Spargo recommends calling in a landscape consultant. “Landscapers, through experience, know what works and what doesn't. This means that we can help you to design your dream garden and pavement in a way that will work well practically and be easy enough for you to maintain.”


 

 

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