The best and worst garden trends

The best and worst garden trends of all time have been revealed by tool firm Draper Tools - with bird feeders and vegetable patches among the good, and gnomes and fake grass among the bad

The study of 2,000 UK adults with gardens also found that over a third of people say improving their garden is a priority right now, with almost 2 in 5 people planning to spend more on their garden this year than ever before. Water features, summer houses and decking are viewed favourably among green-fingered Brits – as are herb gardens, living walls and outdoors kitchens. However, the nation is less enamoured with hot tubs, trampolines and wind chimes – and they’re also not keen on fences painted with orange wood stain, or conifers.

Sustainability in the garden is increasingly popular too, with trends including composting and wildflowers or wild meadows making the top 30 list. Added to this, over half of the nation said the best thing about having a garden was attracting birds and wildlife to it. And a further third of people said the best thing was growing their own good.

Commissioned to support the wide range of gardening essentials available from Draper Tools, the study found 83 per cent of the population believe they have impeccable taste when it comes to their garden. Although 4 in 10 admit they regret some decisions they’ve made in relation to their outside space.

Kev Smith head of marketing at Draper

Tools said: “The research goes to show just how passionate we are as a nation about our gardens – clearly those polled have strong opinions on what works and what doesn’t.”

“In fact, 70 per cent of people told us

their garden is their ‘happy place’, so while garden choices will always be a very personal, individual thing, it’s certainly fascinating to find out what’s popular with the nation right now.” There was further encouraging news

for garden retailers, with 70 per cent of people agreeing that spending money on the garden is a worthwhile investment and almost the same number saying it’s worth investing in quality garden tools too. The research also found Britain’s interest in their outside space is intensifying with more than 2 in 5 people admitting they’ve become more passionate about gardening in recent weeks.

Where garden inspiration is being found It was found that garden retailers play a


• Bird feeders • Vegetable gardens • Water features • Lanterns/outdoor lights • Summer houses • Hanging baskets • Bird bath • Herb garden • Solar lighting • Green houses • Raised garden beds • Decking • Hedgehog homes • Ponds • Wild meadow area/growing of wildflowers


• Gnomes • Fake grass • Plastic ornaments • Fake animal/bird statues e.g. Flamingos

• Artificial topiary balls • Buddha statues • Trampolines • Hot tubs • Recycled old tires as plant containers

• Pub in a shed • Ivy • Fences painted with orange wood stain

• Wind chimes • Shoe planter (a planter that looks like a shoe)

• Fairy gardens (tiny mini gardens for fairies)

key role in enthusing Britain’s gardeners with 3 in 10 people say they get most of their inspiration from visiting garden centres. Gardening TV programmes were also cited as also a popular source (26 per cent) – as were family members (21 per cent). Around a quarter of gardeners revealed they make a concerted effort to keep up to date with the latest trends in the world of gardening.

When shopping for the garden the chances are Brits won’t be spending too much time looking at items such as shoe planters resembling old shoes, faux bicycle planters or metal wall ornaments resembling birds, animals or butterflies. These are all considered to be bad

trends – as are artificial topiary balls, sonic animal repellers and patio heaters. However, some fashions have divided the nation’s gardeners – namely that staple of 1990s gardening TV shows, decking.


• Pretend bicycle planters • Metal bird/animal/butterfly wall ornaments

• Garden tiki bar • Repurposing household items to grow plants in - such as bathtubs, sinks, old bikes

• Outdoors beanbags • Crazy paving • Sonic animal repellers • Conifers • Decking • Patio heaters • Gas powered barbecues • Fire pits • Topiary (trimming hedges into shapes)

• Chimeneas • Decorative crates

Wildlife enticing garden trends such as hedgehog homes, meadow areas and bumblebee nest boxes fall safely into the good trends list. As do tree houses, lanterns and ponds.

Good news – we’re a nation of garden lovers!

Over the course of a typical 12-month period, those polled will spend a total of 86 hours working away on their beloved gardens – that’s three days and 14 hours. Further to this, seven in 10 said they have been spending more time in their garden during recent weeks. Kev Smith of Draper Tools added: “The findings suggest those lucky enough to have a garden are very thankful to have one.”

“And rightly so, because gardens can be a wonderful and rewarding place to escape to – I know mine is and I love nothing more than relaxing in the hot tub with a gin…though clearly I’m off trend!”

• Composting • Built in BBQ/Outdoor kitchen • Planters • Garden pathways/stepping stones • Bumblebee nest boxes • Rose gardens • Tree houses • Rock gardens • Terracotta plant pots • Patio heaters • Garden bar/pub in a shed • Living walls • Repurposing household items to grow plants in - such as bathtubs, sinks, old bikes

• Bird/animal box cameras

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