So, you want to sell your house? Then there are two things you should know: summer is the best time to do it, and the deciding factor may be your garden.

As prime house-buying season looms, new research shows two-thirds of us believe the garden is the deciding factor when buying a property.

Some 66% of prospective buyers in Britain say the garden is vital to their decision on whether or not to buy a house, according to a survey of 2,000 people by online trade recommendation service Rated People, while estate agents advise that a garden can increase a property's price tag by up to 20%.

1) If you park your car in the front garden, don't try to enhance the area with fiddly little plants which may flop over the parking space and end up being squashed. Instead, group a few plants strategically - taking account of the movement of cars - to create a bold and practical effect.

2) Standard potted trees are often a way to make a front entrance look grander, so if you're after a really quick fix, look in your local garden centre for standard bay or olive trees in pots, to frame your front door. Alternatively, go for box topiary.

3) Hide eyesores with quick-growing evergreen climbers such as the cultivars of the honeysuckle Lonicera japonica, and plant other climbers such as clematis or roses to adorn bare walls.

4)  If you're in a rush to sell, you're not going to have time to plant a hedge to block out pollution and road noise, but you can make smaller effective improvements with some quick planting and pretty pots.

5) Consider putting up a framework of trellis to screen your dustbins and plant fast-growing climbers around it, even if it's just some variegated ivy.

6) If you have harsh concrete steps in the front garden, soften it by lining the path with evergreen plants in pots, and place container plants around the front door to make the entrance look welcoming and cared for. Bear in mind that you may not sell your house immediately, so permanent plantings which will provide interest in the cooler months may be a better bet.