"Location, location, location" on the wild side
The old real estate adage "location, location, location" is still the most important factor in purchasing property but the term "location" is bringing with it a different perspective today than it did years ago. While property sales have boasted bonus attributes such as proximately to shops, bus routes, beach front and features such as media rooms, offices and central air conditioning and "other amenities", little has been said about wildlife-friendly gardens.
Yet, in a recent study conducted in the United Kingdom, 70% would consider paying more for such a property. Of those surveyed, 69% described their current surroundings as either urban or suburban, 56% had children and a whopping 93% were happy to see wildlife in their gardens! When we think of gardens we oftentimes think of our front garden and curb appeal. Landscapes must be neat and well kept but does that mean that it should not be wildlife-friendly?
Thoughtfully designed landscapes with maximum curb appeal provide seasonal color, variations of height and depth, insulation from wind and rain. Homeowners use curb appeal to provide natural and welcoming settings for themselves, guests, and passersby but by using native plantings, landscapes can also become self-sustaining environments that attract wildlife. Native plantings are those that are native to the region and naturally occurring. They provide food and habitat for native wildlife. Their existence is dependent upon many things including soil, wind and temperature. Native plants adapt to specific regional climatic conditions and generally grow well with little to no effort, which results in a lower dependence upon pesticides and water.
So while gardens provide a valuable lifeline for wildlife such as birds, toads, bees and butterflies, all of which are declining in number, they also have the potential to boost the valuation of a home in the eyes of a prospective buyer. If homeowners can be persuaded to give nature a home on their property, a network of wildlife friendly gardens could be created enhancing the entire neighborhood.
Read more at the Ecologist.
Natural landscape image via Shutterstock.