Local Expert Gardener Dr. Chris Page, Shares his Expertise with Ellis and Co Golders Green

Our new newsletter, which we distributed during the beginning of February, has had an amazing response.  What we didn’t expect is it connecting is the number of people contacting Ellis and Co Golders Green as an result of reading our new newsletter.

Dr Chris Page contacted Ellis and Co Golders Green, interested in our gardening month especially as he is chairman of the ‘The Hampstead Garden Suburb Horticultural Society.’

We couldn’t miss the fantastic opportunity to ask him some questions, especially about our quest to get wildlife back into our gardens.

Can you tell me about The Hampstead Garden Suburb Horticultural Society?

I’m the Chairman of the Horticultural Society and speaking on my own behalf. We’re the oldest in the suburb, and celebrated our centenary just over a year go. We’re not the oldest in the country, but one of the oldest.

We’re one of the most active societies, with over four hundred members and we have a range of activities such as garden visits, talks, competitions. We recently ran an internal competition for best garden.

How did you get involved?

I am a keen gardener and I was identified as a suitable committee member. It seemed to be a natural progression.

Where did your love of gardening come from?

I think it is partly genetic as my grandfather was a gardener. He had a big garden, and I can still smell the fish, blood and bone that was stored in his shed. My father was a keen gardener too. I resolved not to do gardening when I was younger, but I did do a few houseplants at one stage. It wasn’t until I got my own garden that I became enthused by the bug!

Ellis and Co are promoting wildlife in the garden this month. How important is wildlife in the garden?

Wildlife is very important, and unfortunately, not everyone shares this view. The countryside is increasingly habited by monoculture, and not the diversity compensated by gardening that takes up quite a large acreage when you add them all together. Our individual gardens may not be great, but add it all together and it makes an approachable area to encourage wildlife.

Can you offer any top tips to encourage wildlife in gardens?

Gardens need a wide mix of things. Birds need to nest, perch and feed so feeders can help. More than anything have water in your garden, such as installing a pond. This encourages wildlife of all sorts, not just the obvious like toads and newts, but also birds to wash and bees to drink. It’s also very amenable for humans.

Are there any plants that are best to have in the garden to attract wildlife?

Anything that flowers, particularly at the end of the season in the summer. There’s many plants available for bees and insects, but less in the winter, so wild flowering shrubs are useful for bees. Buddleia are good, and ivy is fantastic as it flowers late in the season and provides protection for nesting.

What are your three top tips for getting your garden ready for summer?

  • At this time of year cut herbaceous perennials to allow new growth.
  • Provide manure and fertilizer ready for plants, and mulch for borders and vegetables.
  • It will also soon be time to start sowing seeds!

We would like to thank Dr. Chris Page for taking the time to talk to us at Ellis and Co Golders Green.

A well-presented garden can add value to your home

Call James Ryan today on 020 8455 1014 to find out how much value your garden has added onto your home.

Image Source Hampstead Garden Suburb

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Great Ideas for a Beautiful yet Child Friendly Garden

Parents, you have a beautiful garden then our little ones arrive.  Slowly a slide moves in, then a playhouse and before you know it, your once beautiful garden becomes a playground.  So how can you have both?  Can you really still have a beautiful garden and have fun areas for the children?

We want you to love your gardens and we know that that a well designed garden can add value to your home.

Dinoland

This is so simple and great fun, the best part is that you can do it together.  Use part of  flower bed or a large plant tub, fill with compost and add some small shrubs and rocks to create a mini land.  Your children can then add a bag of plastic dinosaurs  to have their own mini ‘Dinoland’.

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DinoGarden
our dino land
DinoLand

Trampoline

Our children love a trampoline in the garden, but we must admit they are an eye sore.  The sunken trampoline is best idea we have seen for incorporating a trampoline into your garden as it is not only safe but stylish.

Sunken Trampoline, Guardian
Sunken Trampoline, The Guardian
Sunken Trampoline, Floral and Hardy
Sunken Trampoline, Floral and Hardy

Playhouse

We all remember our childhood ‘dens’, spending hours playing in the land of make believe.  There are some incredible playhouses available, and with a touch of paint and creativity they can be transformed.  Try and use garden colours such as sage green or a pale sky blue.

Playhouse, HousetoHome
Playhouse, HousetoHome
Child's Cottage, h
Child’s Cottage, HeartHomeMag

For a more rustic and eco approach then these playhouses from Cox and Cox are fantastic.  Made from handwoven hazel, they are robust and would blend into any garden design perfectly.

Eco Friendly Playhouses
Eco Friendly Playhouses

Zones

How about creating a garden that has clearly defined areas for children and adults.  Zoning can be achieved by using different surfaces for different areas.  Screening can also be used to create a zone, trellis and trees such as bamboo are the perfect choice.

Playhouse on Stilts, Acron Landscape
Playhouse on Stilts, Acron Landscapes
Formal garden with children in mind
Formal garden with children in mind, Sallis Chandler

Ellis and Co Child Friendly Garden Tips

  • Storage is just as important in your outside space as it is inside your home.
  • Artificial turf in your children’s zone means they can play out no matter what the weather.  It is hard wearing and will prevent muddy shoes!
  • Bring wildlife into your garden.  For ideas and tips, check out – Added Value with a Wildlife Friendly Garden
  • Most importantly, have fun in designing spaces that work for the whole family.

A well-presented garden can add value to your home

Call Jason Davies today on 020 8455 1014 to find out how much value your garden has added onto your home.

Added Value with a Wildlife Friendly Garden

What a difference the small touches can make, whether it be staging your home for sale or adding some key accessories.  Gardens have always been a window to nature, but as our landscape changes so can our local wildlife’s habitat.  As part of our garden month we want to share with you some wonderful garden accessories to help you create a wildlife friendly garden.

Bird tables and boxes have found homes in our gardens for many years.  The traditional wooden style nesting box and bird table would look out of place within some contemporary gardens so what alternatives are there out there?

The Eva Solo Bird Table Standing is a real eye catching design that looks more that a piece of art rather than a bird table.  Not only does the table provide cover it would be a statement piece for your garden.

Eva Solo Bird Table Standing
Eva Solo Bird Table Standing

When we saw this bird water drinker we just couldn’t resist it.  At Ellis and Co we love our morning cup of tea, so we felt it was only right to share our love of tea within a wildlife friendly garden.

China Tea Cups - Bird Water Drinkers
China Tea Cups – Bird Water Drinkers

As we all know children love observing nature and encouraging them for a ‘sleep over’ will make you a hero in their eyes.  We really like the Avianex Nest Boxes, there are tough and long lasting perfect for those inquisitive small hands.  They are a fantastic home for small birds such as blue tits and house sparrows.

Avianex Nest Boxes
Avianex Nest Boxes

Frogs and toads are in real danger and so if you spot these amphibian creatures finding comfort in your garden why not give nature a helping hand.  They like to eat a lot of beetles, bugs, slugs and snails. They love warm, humid atmospheres so don’t be surprised if you find one getting cosy in your shed.

The Chapelwood Toad & Frog Shelter will provide the shelter that they need in your garden.  It is all about location, location, location, find a cool and sheltered quiet part of the garden preferably near a pond if you have one.  Their interior furnishing requirements are stones, moss and leaves.

The Chapelwood Toad & Frog Shelter
The Chapelwood Toad & Frog Shelter

Insects provide many useful chores in our garden, it is important therefore that we encourage nature’s friends to flourish within our gardens.  The ChapelWood Insect Habitat Tower full of nooks and crannies is a haven for insects who will all make it their home.

Encourage nature’s friends to flourish in your garden and they will carry out useful chores along the way. This tower, with its nooks and crannies, encourages many beneficial insects including ladybirds, solitary bees and lacewings to take up residence.

No matter what the size of your garden the ChapelWood Insect Habitat Tower will be the perfect wildlife friendly addition.

ChapelWood Insect Habitat Tower
ChapelWood Insect Habitat Tower

One of my most loved wildlife garden animals is the Hedgehog.  So vulnerable in many ways, we long to protect them.  Why not provide your Hedgehogs with their dream home.  The Wooden Hedgehog House has been designed to protect them over the winter months, the entrance tunnel ensures it is also a safe house from predators.  Find a secluded part of your garden where they are hibernate undisturbed.

Deluxe Hedgehog House
Deluxe Hedgehog House

We ask you to join Ellis and Co this February in our quest to encourage the wildlife back into our gardens.

A well maintained garden full of life is a real asset to your home, especially when you are looking to sell.  The garden is just an addition to your interior so you need to ensure that your garden is ready for sale.

Does a garden really add value to your home?  Check out our February newsletter to find out more.

A well-presented garden can add value to your home

Call Jason Davies today on 020 8455 1014 to find out how much value your garden has added onto your home.

To have a Board or not to have a Board? The Importance of the For Sale Board.

The ‘For Sale’ sign, do you?

A – understand the importance of the sign

B – believe it is out of date, ugly and a waste of time

It is true that the ‘for sale’ sign has been around for generations.  It is also true that as with most businesses, estate agency has developed and evolved.  We have been adopting new technologies, embracing best practice and changing the typical stereotypes.  We are a new breed, social media savvy, proactive in our approaches yet still very much at the heart of the communities in which we serve.

Yet in this ever-changing industry, the some would say the ‘dated’ for sale board remains.  A beacon on your property journey or an eye sore in your suburban streets.

At Ellis and Co we stand by our for sale signs.  Not as a symbol of our
existence but as one of the most powerful marketing tools we have.  It is true that the number one method of finding property is online through property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla.  But hot on its heals is our sign.  Why in this digital age are signs still the second most effective way of marketing your home?

Neighbours

Unlike our grandparents generation we sadly no longer know everyone in our street or neighbourhood.  Word of mouth is the most powerful and effective resource, having the board outside your home can start a chain of conversations, which can lead to potential buyers.

Passers by

Similarly the same goes for people passing by your home.  Many buyers visit areas of interest exclusively looking for property on the market.  Having the board outside will ensure they know about your home more quickly, again leading to a possible viewing and a potential sale.

As a vendor we want to ensure that we provide you with the best possible service.  Our signs serve a purpose – to sell your home.

One thing we can guarantee is that we will not use tactics like this to sell your home:

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Source 

To have an Ellis and Co ‘For Sale’ Board means that your home is well on it’s way to being SOLD!

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Selling? Is your home ‘Dressed to Impress’?

January has brought to Ellis and Co – buyers.

Up and down the UK the market is moving, people are ditching their Christmas trees for ‘For Sale’ signs and buyers are out in force.  There is a confidence in the market that is growing and the need for properties, increasing.

It has been an exciting start to January.  We finished the year on a high after our amazing Gold Award winning achievements at The Times Estate Agency Awards, but this was just the start.  This award has made us more determined to exceed your expectations.  We have had an increasing number of quality buyers through our doors, far more than this time last year.

All predictions for 2014 show that property prices will increase during this year.  The Telegraph states “The Office for Budget Responsibility, the Treasury forecaster, predicted a rise of 5.2pc in 2014.”

We are ready for a very busy start to the year; no floods or polar vortex will stop us bringing buyers and vendors together.

How to get your home ready for sale.

You have all heard the advice, de-clutter, de-personalise, de-colour, but can you take this too far? How can you sensibly get your home ready for sale?

There is truth to the advice, but take it too far and you will be left with a cold home that feels unloved.

De-Clutter

De-Cluttering is essential for putting your house on the market.  We have garages and store cupboards full of “stuff” and gadgets that we may or may not use.  Do you want to take all this with you?  Go through every cupboard and draw, your shed and attic can decide what you really need in your new home.  A great idea is to rent a storage unit for a short time, here you can store all your packed boxes of things you won’t need before your move.

De-Personalise

We all have our own tastes and styles as well as personal and sentimental accessories and furniture around the house.  De-personalising does not mean remove everything, but carefully pick the pieces you wish to express your home’s lifestyle.

What do we mean?

Your home maybe perfect for a family, or may be geared to a young professional, does your item depict the homes lifestyle.  A couple of personal photos around the house are fine, but remember you want people to be able to picture themselves in your property and not get distracted.

Living -Trevereux Millgate

Living Room from Contemporary House, Trevereux, Oxted – Millgate Homes

De-Colour

There is a rule of thumb that all rooms should be neutral in colour as to show a blank canvas.  If your home is already this style that is fine, but if you have some colour don’t rush to hide it.  If you visit a show-home, you will see that colour is used on most walls in the form of paints and wallpapers.  But what you also see is that each room’s palette is tasteful and warm.  Be tough on your decorating choices, if you think potential buyers won’t like it, then it’s time to change, otherwise touch up and tidy.

DO

Other key points to remember

  • First Impressions Count – Ensure your home has kerb appeal
  • Tool Box Required – Finish all the odd jobs you have been putting off.
  • ‘What’s in Here?’ – Clean everywhere, we mean everywhere including inside your fridge, buyers naturally open cupboards.
  • Dressed for Success – Ensure each room is dressed for it’s purpose e.g. if it’s a bedroom show it as a bedroom.
  • Create a Show Stopper – Stage your home for sale.  Add flowers, some nice cushions and hide all the lotions.

List your home with Ellis and Co

Yes we are award winning but we also:

  • Look beyond our mailing list and proactively search for qualified buyers
  • Don’t just believe selling your home is a priority, we live and breathe it.
  • Phone, email, tweet …..  There is no reason why you should not be kept up to date.
  • Care.  We don’t just sell houses, we help people live their dreams.