Posted: 17/05/2013 at 11:50
Just as an aside, there are quite a few bungalows for sale along the regular walk to my Son's school. Quite a few have been for sale for a while, and I've been looking to see how much they're going for (just in case I win the lotto and can afford to buy one for my Mum!). Upshot is, the one with the nicest garden, very tidy, lots of well-tended to flowers, flowering cherry, block-paved drive, went VERY quickly at the asking price £170K. A very similar bungalow, two minutes walk away has only just been sold, garden not brilliant, but back paved, front covered in pea gravel (corner plot so big front garden), plus garage (which the other bungalow didn't have) went for £145K, reduced from the £160K they were originally asking for back in October.
So a nice garden can make a HUGE difference to the value of your property, the garden is the first impression you get, if the garden looks cared for, then you assume the house is cared for too. So I agree with Brummie Ben, go for it, do a good job once and it won't need doing again. If you can plant up some containers or hanging baskets, too (assuming your Mum is well enough to water them), to add colour, that will add even more value. The garden as it is will reduce the value of the house substantially.
Good luck, I know how much hard work you have ahead of you, take photos after day 1, so you can see how big an impact you have made. If you don't wear specs, the tip about safety glasses is a good one, for less than a fiver you can protect your eyes, any decent hardware shop/homebase/b&q will stock them. Soon we'll be calling you Thin Tony!