Bring on the colour. Spring is here and if you want to jazz up your garden for sale, colour is the in thing, says Lee Gutzewitz, of Kings Plant Barn.

Kings sees a steady stream of customers or their gardeners/landscapers in preparation to selling a property. "What they buy is dependent on what sort of house they have and look
they are going for," says Gutzewitz.

High up on their shopping lists is "potted colour". That's colourful plants such as petunias, salvias, impatiens and other annual or perennial flowering plants. These plants are often used in hanging baskets and patio pots by homeowners about to put their property on the market. They can also be planted out in garden beds.

"A lot of people want instant colour to brighten the garden and get potential buyers to want to buy the house," says Gutzewitz. Typically these flowering plants will last right through the summer, which is good if the house doesn't sell immediately.

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Gutzewitz says a number of old-fashioned flowering plants and shrubs are coming back into fashion. Kings is selling more and more pelargoniums, geraniums, roses, hydrangeas and gardenias.

Sometimes homeowners are looking for hardier plants. If it's a rental property, for example, they may not be around to water it regularly during the sale period, says Gutzewitz. hardier grasses such as the genus carex work. Carex is a New Zealand native.

Such grasses are often used in a back section, she says, to make the plantings look fuller.

Other popular hardier plants that homeowners are buying include lavender and rosemary.

Both attract bees, are fragrant and are very drought tolerate.

Many customers also buy hedging plants for their gardens. Very popular for box hedges is the genus buxus. Gutzewitz also sees customers buying camellias, lavender and rosemary for hedging.

Other hedging plants such as ficus tuffi are excellent for screening ugly fences and neighbouring properties.

If you're buying plants to prepare your house/garden for sale, it is often a good idea to choose more established plants rather than smaller versions. Often you will spend less because the larger plant is more likely to survive and also play its role from day one.

Small plants need more watering, mulching and general care, says Gutzewitz.

For example ficus tuffi start at around $19.99 per tree, says Gutzewitz. The largest ficus tuffi available currently costs $174.99, but will block out the neighbouring property, she says. "If you wanted instant screening you would go for the larger ones."

Pots are also selling well at Kings with black, white and grey being the most popular colours, says Gutzewitz.

Spring is a great time to establish new plants, she says. It's also a good time if you plant to sell your property to dig up old beds and introduce new plants.