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Real LeadWith the property market as fickle as always, intriguing landscape designs, when tastefully executed, can make all the difference between attracting a potential buyer or tenant or not. Furthermore, it is thought that their presence increases property value by approximately three to five percent – a significant amount in the case of large houses.

Chinese and Japanese landscaping is slowly emerging in Pakistan. It is an ancient art, developed over thousands of years, during which practitioners learnt how to make the most of whatever they had to work with.

Large or small gardens, on deceptively simple lines, bring property to instant attention, especially if they have that mystical allure. Thoughtfully designed around existing features, such as mature trees, rocky outcrops or even sand, these inspirational masterpieces do not limit the viewers’ vision to the immediate surroundings. They entice the eye, via dreamscape ‘Moon doors’ and decorative window frames, to focus on something as simple as a tree, the attractive angle of a nearby property, or even to frame a distant skyline, thus giving an impression of endlessly rolling space.

The creation of apparently limitless space easily deceives the eye of the beholder into feelings of wellbeing and relaxation in what, in reality, may be a very limited area. For example, a small mound of sand, backed by a clump of fast growing, ornamental ‘Golden Bamboo’ waving in the gentle breeze instantly removes busy thoroughfares from the view, suggesting wild countryside instead with fertile forests and rivers meandering beyond.

Oriental gardens are not laid out in severe, straight lines; rather they have gracefully curving pathways, often made of gravel or stone mosaic, disappearing around a tree or arching over a wooden or bamboo bridge which may – or may not – cross water. Such gardens are intended to harmonise ‘raw’ nature and encourage peace of mind in the people who view them and in doing so magnify the simple intrinsic beauty of an underrated natural world. And, what is more, property buyers adore them!

– B. Khan

First published in the Real Estate Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on February 15, 2015.