By Candis Meredith
When it comes to a successful restoration or renovation, you’re not done until you have the yard done, too. If you’ve ever sold a house before, you’re probably more than a little bit familiar with the idea of curb appeal. You know that people won’t stop—or even slow down—as they drive by if the lawn looks shabby and the house’s façade looks wrecked. With that in mind, I like to spend a little bit of time not only making a house’s yard look nice but restoring it the same way that we worked to restore the house itself. This can get really fun and can be a very creative job, especially when you’re working with a Victorian house.
Define Different Spaces in the Lawn
Victorian gardens were famous for creating different nooks and “rooms.” With a low hedge and some wrought-iron patio furniture, you can create a lovely area where someone can sit and quietly read or have coffee in one area of the yard, say under a tree and near a patch of ivy or amid rose bushes.
Connect Different Areas with Gravel Paths
Don’t just create a bunch of different spots with no continuity, though. You’ll want to give the whole space a good flow by connecting your different garden “rooms” with gravel paths. These are pretty easy to keep up, so your buyers won’t think that they’re getting into a hugely expensive or time-consuming garden when they purchase the property.
Have Fun With Lawn Ornaments
The Victorians were notorious for taking bits and pieces of ancient ruins from around the world and using them as conversation pieces in their gardens at home. I don’t recommend stealing any ancient artifacts, but you can definitely have some fun with statuary, birdbaths, and wrought-iron lawn ornaments. Don’t go overboard, though. A few interesting pieces will go a long way and won’t make people feel like they’re stepping into someone else’s garden.
Keep It Manicured
If you want to attract Victorian purists to buy your house, you won’t want to let the look of the lawn and garden get too messy. Remember, Victorian style is very put together and manicured. Keep your garden and landscaping details tidy and organized, and you’ll be on the right track.
But Don’t Go Too Minimalist
At the same time, don’t try to create a modern minimalist garden. You’re going for an Old World charm that’s much more lavish and detail-oriented than today’s minimal looks. Yes, both are clean-cut and have well-defined lines, but don’t get the two confused or you’re going to end up with a garden that clashes with your house.
It Doesn’t Have to Be Hard to Maintain
As you think about these tips and how to use them, I do want to remind you that your Victorian landscaping doesn’t have to be overly intricate or hard to maintain. Rose bushes are very resilient and don’t need much more than pruning each year, and they can give you those big, fun shapes of bright colors that you see in so many Victorian gardens and yards. Low hedges can also give you that compartmentalized look without needing much more than an occasional trim.
Keep in mind that you want to give your buyers a beautiful yard that won’t clash with the house and won’t require them to spend a fortune on landscaping each year to keep it looking lovely. With these tips, you should be able to get the desired effect without a ton of work.