Brits spend more than £16 billion on gardens as lockdown forces us to stay home

Brits have spent more than £16 billion on their gardens in the past year as lockdown forced us to stay at home, new research reveals.

A study of 2,000 people who have access to a garden – shared or owned – found the average household has forked out £241 on renovations and £180 on accessories, as lockdown restrictions meant more time was spent in backyards than usual.

Another £140 has been spent on tools, with more than half of those polled doing their own DIY rather than hiring a professional as they had more time on their hands.

It also emerged the typical garden is now home to Instagram-friendly fire pits (12%), garden gnomes (15%) and vegetable patches (28%).

And the garden census, commissioned by STIHL, found the trend for taking the inside outside is growing – with sofas (11%), summer houses (11%) and rugs (5%) making an appearance.

Hot tubs and exercise equipment also proved popular to keep fit and entertained during lockdown, with one in 20 owning one or the other.

But despite the amount of money spent, a third are still not happy with how their garden currently looks, and more than a quarter want to make it more colourful.

Paul Hicks, from STIHL, said: "After a year of spending more time in our gardens than ever before, it’s interesting to see what the key features are and what they want to improve.

"With spring around the corner, garden owners will be thinking about giving it a tidy up or even a full makeover ahead of spending time out there.

"With a lot of people still spending their days at home, there’s never been a more important time to make our outdoor space exciting and inviting, if only for ourselves."

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The study also found more than two thirds are looking forward to spending time in their garden this year.

And 46% admitted their garden has become more important to them since lockdown began.

Three quarters (76%) of those polled via OnePoll plan to use their outdoor space for relaxing and 64% will be continuing with their new hobby of gardening to help pass the time.

People are also planning to follow the wildflower planting (17%) and "grow your own" (26%) trends with 28% already owning a vegetable patch.

Paul added: "The garden was a welcome sanctuary for many people throughout 2020 and spending time outside looks set to be just as popular this year.

"Regular garden maintenance, whether it is mowing the lawn, trimming bushes or clearing leaves, will keep the garden tidy and by investing in the right tools these jobs can even become enjoyable."

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TOP 50 THINGS IN BRITISH GARDENS:

1. Plant pots

2. Washing line

3. Shed

4. Gate

5. Bird feeder

6. Dining table and chairs set

7. Garden ornaments

8. Hanging baskets

9. Bench

10. Barbecue

11. Trough planters

12. Parasol

13. Vegetable patch

14. Sun lounger

15. Fairy lights

16. Stepping stones

17. Wildflower garden

18. Greenhouse

19. Coffee table

20. Lanterns

21. Water feature

22. Flood lights

23. Garden gnome

24. Pond

25. Picnic bench

26. Chiminea

27. Fire Pit

28. Floor lights e.g. within a path or decking

29. Outdoor sofa

30. Summer house

31. Gazebo

32. Trampoline

33. Pergola

34. Swing

35. Swing bench

36. Football goal

37. Playhouse

38. Sandpit

39. Animal enclosure e.g. chickens, ducks etc

40. Climbing frame

41. Egg chair

42. Hammock

43. Hot tub

44. Outdoor exercise equipment

45. Outdoor rug

46. Swimming pool

47. Bar

48. Netball net

49. Ping Pong table

50. Pizza oven

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