Looking for a new house? Surely you will ask about appliance manuals and how to maintain the house in perfect condition. But have you looked into the care of the garden?
It may not only be your pets that go through shock when you move. Garden plants that exist in the garden may be conditioned to receiving water regularly either by hand, hose or irrigation system. If this is disrupted plants may go through stress or worse even die.
Look around the property before settlement date and search for:-
Identify groupings of plants that may require similar watering. For example bushland natives may be in one garden area while ornamental roses and perennials in another. These different plantings will normally require a different watering regime.
Ask the current owners how often they water the garden, any special requirements for specific plants and if possible what the frequency of fertilising and mulching have been.
If the lawn is thick and robust, enquire how they keep it looking so good. The new property may have a different grass variety that needs more maintenance or a different type of mower to look that fantastic.
Do not restrict your observations and questions to just plants. Clarify the following:
for garden lights – ask about warranty, bulb replacement and cleaning
water ponds and fountains – ask about maintenance requirements, warranty on the pump, frequency in feeding the fish, etc
permanent sculpture and furnishings – cleaning and maintenance.
If however you have moved in without the insight of care from the previous owners, keep an eye out for stress signs that need immediate action. The most common stress sings that occur in new gardens is water stress. Common symptoms to look for are:
palm fronds begin to go brown one after another starting with the older leaves
massive leaf drop from a range of plants
plants constantly wilting by mid afternoon
aborted flowers or fruit laying at base of plants.
Be aware that severe damage brought on by dry periods is fatal to many native and exotic garden plants.
Moving house is a great experience… new sights, new environment, new landscape. In time you get accustomed to the house. In time the garden gets accustomed to you.