March 15, 2009
Recently LO’s first vice-president Tom Intven, president of Canadale Nurseries in St. Thomas, attended the ANLA Management Clinic in Louisville, Kentucky. During the clinic, he sat in on a session presented by Dr. Charlie Hall, ‘Adaptation and Survival Strategies in Turbulent Times.’

Hall grew up in the nursery business in North Carolina and went on to become an economist specializing in the green industry. He regularly pontificates his thoughts and theories on his blog – – entitled Making Cents of Green Industry Economics.

Part of his presentation was on a study by a multi-state research committee regarding the effects that landscaping has on the perceived value of homes. “There is great information here for all sectors of our industry, especially landscape contractors, garden centres and growers. Let’s not miss this opportunity to tell our potential customers that their investment in plants and landscaping has great return on investment. In fact, landscaping is the BEST investment in home improvement for increasing the value (and size) over time; better than any other type of renovation,” says Intven.

Hall’s basic premise is that we should be shouting to all of our customers and potential customers the tremendous positive effects that sophisticated landscaping adds to the value of homes. Studies have shown that landscaping yields as much as $4 return for every $1 invested.

“He also told us his personal experience of how investing in landscaping paid off big for him. He recently had to move, and bought the book How to Sell Your House in Five Days. One of the suggestions in the book was to invest in colour landscaping in the foundation planting for increased curb appeal,” said Intven. Hall went out and bought $400 worth of annuals and perennials, increased the size of his beds in front of his home, making them more curvilinear, and planted them in a big impact design. Everyone who came to visit his home commented on how beautiful his landscaping was. He sold his home on day five.

Upon returning home, Intven logged on to Hall’s blog and found the article, Value of Landscaping. With permission from Dr. Hall, we reprint some of the article:

“…now is the time for the industry to promote the value that landscaping provides in increasing perceived real estate values. A recent study by the S-1021 multi-state research committee provided key findings regarding the effects that landscape design sophistication, plant size, and diversity of plant material has on consumer perceptions of home value.

“Design sophistication accounted for 42 per cent of the value added to the home, so clearly doing more than foundation plantings yields a greater return. Plant size accounted for 36 per cent of the value added to the home, so larger plantings translate into greater value.

Diverse plant material accounted for 22 per cent of the value added to the home, so it appears that having many large numbers of different plants was not as important.

“Adding one or two island beds (increasing design sophistication) can alone add two per cent to the perceived value of the home. Although a small investment (less than $250), colourful annuals and perennials added nearly $1,000 to home value; returning 400 per cent on the investment.

“Moving from the least valued landscape to the most valued landscape, perceived home value increased, on average 8.6 per cent across all states included in the study.

“A landscape is a good investment, yielding a greater than $1 return in home value for every $1 invested in the landscape.

Landscapes are one of the only home improvements that increase in value (and size) over time. Other renovations (e.g. bathroom, kitchen) typically yield less of a return than the amount invested. Clearly, installing more than foundation plantings yields a greater return for consumers. Curvilinear beds are effective design elements in adding value to the home.”