The colourful flowers and vibrant green grasses of summer are on their way out, but if you're selling your house during winter your garden can still be a big selling point. Autumn is a busy time for the garden; if you spend some time tidying it up now, it'll look great throughout the winter season. Not to mention, it'll add lots of kerb appeal. Your estate agent fees don't cover gardening work, unfortunately, so here's what you need to do to get started.
Start with an 'autumn clean'
Tidy up your borders by removing annual plants and separating your perennials (such as strawberry plants) so that they have more space to grow next spring. It's always worth pointing out fruit trees and bushes to viewers – they'll love the thought of juicy home-grown fruits come springtime.
Get the garden spring ready
Once your borders are tidy, spread a thick layer of bark, manure or compost underneath to keep roots cosy. You don't need to dig it in as this process will take place naturally over the next few months. Autumn is also a good time to fix patchy lawns. Give your grass a rake to get rid of old grass clippings and moss, brush in a sandy top coat and then sprinkle a layer of autumn lawn feed so that it's ready to face the winter. If your lawn is unfixable, consider laying new turf. It's also a good idea to pop a net over your garden pond, to stop leaves falling in and blocking your filters.
Add a splash of colour
Gardens can grow quite dull over the winter months. The soil will be too cold for most plants, but you can add vibrancy by planting in pots. You'll need a heavy duty compost, like John Innes no. 3, to keep roots warm through the season. For a rugged look, choose hardy plants like grasses, ferns and heathers. For a splash of colour, look for bedding plants like winter flowering pansies, cyclamen and violas. Finish by hanging some white outdoor fairy lights, switching them on during dark winter viewings to add a bit of sparkle.