Homes with Gardens – the Shangri-La of Maltese properties

  • 03.March 2013
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In a tiny island where land is limited, where buildings keep encroaching on us and where the sea is the largest expanse of open space surrounding us, seeking to purchase property which comes with a garden is what many nature lovers do. The reasoning is easy enough to understand – if you can’t retreat to the country, the next best bet is to make the country come to you. An expanse of green attached to your own home’s building, is a pretty good investment, but how findable is it after all?

When you start your house-hunting and tell your estate agency representative that you want a home with a garden, chances are his or her eyes will glaze over. Why? Well, first of all, because not many houses come still equipped with gardens. One reason is the fact that several houses constructed in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, while being pretty large in size, did not include a garden. At most, the majority included a large or medium-sized courtyard at the back of the house.

Then again, there developed the trend to pave over any soil patches linked to open courtyards, in a bid to reduce maintenance and any laborious exertion involved with caring for a garden patch. What remains in many a courtyard is the lone citrus tree that valiantly keeps producing its annual share of lemons, oranges or mandarins, homes a few birds’ nests, allows the family cat to do its daily tot of clambering and that’s about it. Discovering a house with a good-sized yard could allow you to dig up that paving and re-insert a couple of truck-loads of good soil and hey presto, you will have your own little garden in place.

A proper home with garden is rather something which could be found in pre-war and immediate post-war constructions. Most of these are found either in village and town cores or in the outskirts of such villages or towns. Some of these homes with gardens could be quite substantial and even if abandoned to themselves, will probably still offer great inspiration for classical or modern landscaping. For larger stretches of potential or existing garden space, a search is generally more easy to make in the categories listing villas, farmhouses, and perhaps the occasional terraced house. It may be disappointing to find that what is described as a ‘front garden’ is in actual fact a two-metre square patch of soil planted in the middle of a front patio. Even more disheartening is the fact that when a property comes equipped with any reasonably sized garden, the price will spike up considerably. Remember that virgin land is highly sought after and therefore, such a spike in price range is understandable. Searching for the perfect garden can be tough but at the end of the day, finding it can be an incredible reward to yourself and your family to enjoy in the future.

This article was written by Marika Azzopardi, a freelance writer and journalist.  A frequent contributor to national English language papers and magazines, she writes about a bevy of topics including art, people and life in general. She is also the author of children’s books and short stories, delving into adult fiction from time to time.