It doesn’t have to cost the earth – and nor should it – but considerate planning and planting of a herb garden here, and a lemon, lime or mulberry tree there can reap numerous rewards when it comes to adding value to your lifestyle and property.
Whether you plan to sell or stay in your home indefinitely, a few clever additions to your garden now can invoke a real emotional response from prospective buyers: think a ‘cooks-garden’, a lemon tree dripping with fruit (which are marketable commodities), or fond childhood memories of foraging. Or simply increase your enjoyment of your home now. And that’s got to be a good thing.
With the rise in popularity of cooking shows (you know the ones!), home cooking is in and what better addition to your cooking is there but fresh herbs? Smell that winter casserole simmering away, enhanced with your home-picked herbs.
Now, don’t leap into that head-space about herb and vegetable gardening being complicated, but consider this: plant parsley randomly around garden. Shove in some rosemary. It grows to a metre or so in height, so think mid-garden bed. And while you’re at it, toss in some thyme around the edges too.
These three plants – parsley, rosemary and thyme – will serve any home cook well. They are easy to look after and in fact, some would say thrive on neglect, which really means, water if they wilt, and that virtually never happens. They also happen to look great in the garden and rosemary and thyme produce flowers too.
You don’t need a dedicated herb garden and in fact, planting herbs in with your established garden can be both beautiful and beneficial to surrounding plants and humans alike.
Now to the beloved citrus tree. These are easy to grow if you can remember to water them a few times a week and fertilise at the change of each season. Or thereabouts. We could all do that, right?
Outlay around $30 and you’ve got yourself a tree ready to plant. In 2-3 years you’ll be harvesting your first, albeit small crop. But give that tree five years and you’ll be surprised at just how much fruit it will produce. Imagine being able to share that bounty with friends and neighbours.
Has anyone noticed the price of limes come festive season (and most things for that matter), which jump from under $10 a kilo to around $30 a kilo? Plant your own lime tree. Mojito party anyone?
Or what about a trip around the mulberry bush? Many of us have vivid, fond memories from our childhood of gorging on this beautiful fruit, which doesn’t make it to commercial shelves because of its high-perishability factor, but could you think of anything better than your own backyard supply? Perhaps mulberry pie could be a tad better.
So, with all that said, consider getting just a little motivated and reap the benefits of what you sow. Your family, friends and neighbours will thank you in ways innumerous. And come sale time, you’ll thank yourself too.