Gardens remain top priority for consumers study finds

Draper Tools has polled the nation on the best and worst trends for UK gardens in 2022 and taken a look at consumer priorities and spending habits when it comes to the garden. 

According to the research, Brits are encouraging wildlife in their gardens with bird feeders and baths, hedgehog homes and bumblebee nest boxes. However, garden gnomes and artificial grass have had their day. 

The study of 2,000 adults with an outdoor space found more than one in ten describe their entire garden as “intentionally wild” in style to encourage biodiversity. Fruit trees, composting areas, ponds and greenhouses all appeared on the list of what people most like to see in a garden. 

But wind chimes, recycled old tyres, artificial topiary balls and anything painted in an orange wood stain are unlikely to be bought in 2022. 

Water features and “living walls” are also among the most popular garden trends at the moment, while fake animals, buddha statues and plastic ornaments are out.  

Investing in the garden 

Nearly a fifth of respondents (17%) admit they get inspiration for their garden by peering over their neighbour’s fence. DIY stores and garden centres were also cited as top sources of garden inspiration.  

In total, respondents estimate having spent an average of £1,732 per person on buying new bedding, plants, tools and other garden costs since they moved in, according to the OnePoll.com data. And it’s seen as money well spent, as 34% said spending on their gardens is a worthwhile investment. This is especially the case when it comes to garden tools, with more than a quarter of the nation saying that it was worth investing in quality tools. 

Two out of five people are actually planning to spend more on their gardens this year than they did last year. This is perhaps not surprising given that more than a third of people (36%) say their garden is their happy place. The same number admit that recent times have made them appreciate how important their gardens are.  

When it comes to what’s on the nation’s shopping list for the garden, 30% of gardeners have watering on the brain and are looking to buy a sprinkler or spray gun for the garden. A quarter of Brits are hoping to purchase a garden caddy or cart in future. And 16% want a lawn mower and just over one in ten are prioritising comfort and looking for a garden kneeler. 

Sustainable trends 

Kevin Smith of Draper Tools, which commissioned the research, said: “So many of people have got into gardening in recent times, and it’s fascinating to get an insight into what’s popular with consumers – as well as what’s fallen out of favour. 

“It’s great to see the number of people focusing on sustainability by growing their own food, composting, harvesting rainwater and encouraging biodiversity in their gardens. Hopefully, these are long-term trends that are here to stay.” 

Other elements Brits are now turning away from in their gardens are hot tubs, perhaps as a result of rising electricity costs. Another 27% don’t like to see trampolines in gardens, and 15% consider topiary to be “over”. 

Escaping to the garden 

In the summer months, adults spend nearly two and a half hours each week outside tending to their garden areas.

Respondents say their top priority for their garden is simply having a place to relax (49%). However, just under a quarter (24%) say sustainability is their number one goal, and 31% want a space they can grow their own fruit and veg. 

Sheds remain popular with gardeners; 64% of Brits have one – but what’s inside certainly differs. While the majority of those polled (71%) use their shed for garden tool storage, more than a quarter use it as a space to do DIY. Two out of ten shed owners have turned theirs into a place to escape to – such as a “man cave” or “she shed”. While 16% have a pub in a shed and the same number have their home office in a shed.  

Smith added: “Our research has shown gardens clearly remain a top priority for many consumers. While there may be strong feelings on what exactly makes the perfect garden, the overarching trend towards creating a relaxing outdoor space that benefits nature is clear.” 

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