3. Consider a Dovecote
Organic gardener and property developer PATRICIA HILL shares another of the gardening techniques she has used
For all types of garden, large or small, laid to lawn or the merest patio, there are many ways of making your outdoor space attractive to buyers, and one of the easiest is buying a dovecote.
Modern dovecotes are available in two main types: the vintage triangular wall-hung style, or the traditional dovecote mounted on a post. Not to be confused with a bird feeder, it is important that the dovecote should be in pristine condition and painted in traditional white or in a fashionable muted shade, whichever suits the style and period of your house.
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The triangular dovecotes being imported from Eastern Europe have timbered shingle roofs, and make an attractive feature for older villas and cottages when hung on an exterior wall by adding a charming rustic air to any garden or courtyard. Costing just a few hundred pounds, these dovecots range in size from 6 hole, to 15 hole and up to 21 hole, and are obtainable from various 'shabby-chic' outlets in Devon as well as on the internet.
Alternatively, a garden or large patio can be made attractive to buyers by having a hexagonal or octagonal wooden dovecote on a fixed post. Placed in the centre of a small circular flower bed, or simply surrounded with containers of flowering plants or herbs, it will act as a charming focal point for the eyes of visitors. Prices range considerably depending on the size and quality of the build: a simple two-tier, pine-shingled hexagonal dovecote would cost just £175, a larger version constructed of best redwood tongue and groove would cost around £300, whilst a top quality octagonal three-tier dovecote for twelve pairs of doves with timbered shingle roof and finial in a choice of colours and finishes could set you back as much as £795.
However much you decide to spend, when you find the right buyer who has fallen in love with your garden, the dovecote can be taken with you to your new home, or sold as part of the negotiating package.
Advice from Torbay Organic Gardening Society (01803 328055), visit the website www.torbayorganics.co.uk.