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Great British Garden Bucket List

We at Laterlife are enthusiastic supporters of one of Britain’s top hobby areas...the garden.

Homes with gardens are declining slightly…Government figures indicate the percentage of households with gardens is expected to fall to just under 90 per cent by 2020.

But that is still a lovely lot of gardens to be looked after and enjoyed.

Not the same for front gardens sadly; these are fast disappearing as people gravel or pave them over for car parking.

But the greenery of natural back gardens still remain, albeit with a slight nudge from the ever green Astro turf.

Interestingly though it seems that while a huge majority of us still love a garden, traditional garden features are falling out of favour. Forget the herbaceous borders, it seems today hot tubs, decking and even water features are the top must haves in a lovely garden.

A survey just completed by online garden and conservatory furniture shop shows that the biggest dream of all is not to grow the best marrow or sunflower, but to have a swimming pool! In the survey, of around 1,000 UK adults, just on three quarters of the people interviewed said they dream of owning a swimming pool.

Also high on the wish lists are water features (67%), followed by decking or patio areas (61%), vegetable patches (43%), and summer houses (24%).

The popularity of our traditional mellow cottage gardens seems to be dropping too, with only a fifth saying that is what they really want. Instead just under a third said they would love to design an oriental water garden for their home; while 19% felt a contemporary modern look is best and 16% aspired to a Mediterranean terrace garden.

With an ageing population, it was interesting that only 12% opted for a low maintenance garden. Further down the list, only one in ten would like to add a tennis court (if they had room!).

More expected was the use of gardens for outdoor entertaining…we all love an outdoor party and a third said they like throwing parties in their garden…just waiting for the right weather I guess along with the 16% who say they like to use their garden for sunbathing.

In our age group, BBQ was possibly predictably down the list (more popular with younger age groups) while growing our own vegetables was still very important.

Some of the respondents admitted their aspirations were being inspired by television shows such as Big Brother, and celebrities such as the Kardashians, many of whom have lavish feature filled gardens.

Craig Corbett, marketing manager at, said: “The findings are interesting, and show that most of us aspire to have some element of water in our gardens, whether it’s in the form of a bubbling hot tub, or tranquil and calming water feature. It’s great to see the fun and quirky features the British public choose when collating their garden bucket lists.”

Craig said that dream landscapes don’t have to cost big money - improvements can be made on a conservative budget and scale. “Beginning garden renovations with a single smaller size project, such as tidying existing patio areas, or planting some seasonal pots, is recommended. This means sowing seeds and garden maintenance can be done in smaller manageable sessions,” he said.

Overall the results from the survey were:

Swimming pool – 74%
Water feature – 67%
Decking/ patio area – 61%
Hot tub – 53%
Vegetable patch – 43%
Summer house – 24%
BBQ and outdoor cooking area – 23%
Tennis courts – 9%
Putting green – 5%
Topiary – 4%

 For more information click here.


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