Small is beautiful
As we grow older we’re more likely to want littler gardens, says Strutt & Parker’s latest research. According to the agent’s Housing Futures study, 20% of those over 65 polled contend that it’s crucial to have more manageable green spaces.
Jane Bailey at Bewley Homes’s Hartley Row Park, Hampshire (www.bewley.co.uk), says that downsizers and early retirees are attracted to the scheme’s old-fashioned country ambience, with a living wall, wildflower meadow and beech avenue.
“One 80-year-old owner’s a keen gardener. She’s had her tiny garden divided up to emulate her old rose garden, complete with birdbath statue and veg plots at hip height so they’re easy to look after,” she says.
Jane adds that the green-fingered homeowner brought her old gardener from her former big house to help her design the smaller exterior area.
Younger couples and families are equally drawn to the development’s “back to basics” atmosphere, where 10 four- and five-bedroom houses priced from £780,000 remain out of 100 units.
Pensioners at MHA’s Wellesley Court (www.mhawellesleycourt.co.uk), also in Hampshire, can have a bit of garden to maintain if they fancy it, but senior living advisor Sarah Gazard says most residents opt for pots on their balconies.
Some bring flowers with them from their old gardens, while others grow roses, orchids and easy-care annuals, she explains.
Alongside private zones, occupants can enjoy communal areas with “wild grasses, lavender and foxgloves that attract bees, and a roof terrace with raised borders, bushes and grasses. It’s like being on holiday sitting up there,” Sarah adds.
To date, 19 one- and two-bedroom apartments out of a total of 48 have been reserved. Prices start at £219,100 for a one-bed place, and from £258,300 for two bedrooms.