A new study by M&S Home Insurance has revealed that 58 percent of those with outdoor spaces have spent more on their gardens this year than ever before.
In fact, the average spend per household emerged as a staggering £700, for everything from new flowers and shrubs (46 percent) to garden furniture (25 percent), new BBQs (21 percent) and fire pits (13 percent).
The research suggests that as a nation, we are going all out to impress friends and family this summer, with one in 20 (6 percent) having installed a hot tub and the same number having bought a chiminea or a pizza oven.
Six percent have also shelled out on new fencing and 18 percent have hung lanterns or fairy lights in the garden to create a magical effect.
New decking (9 percent), water features (7 percent) and AstroTurf (7 percent) are other outdoor decorations that have been popular this year, while some people have even installed outdoor cinema screens to enjoy with their friends and families.
When it comes to building the perfect space, 15 percent have spent time creating a vegetable patch, a further 45 percent have planted a new herb garden, while almost one in 20 have created a drinks bar in their garden so they can create summery cocktails when entertaining.
Overall, 82 percent have been working hard, getting their gardens summer ready with the average Brit having spent 13 full days perfecting their plot.
When it comes to where we get our inspiration from, 28 percent admit to being inspired by their friends and family, while other inspirations came from home and garden magazines (23 percent), Pinterest, (18 percent) and Instagram (18 percent).
Nearly three quarters (74 per cent) said they had become more interested in gardening over the last year, with as many of 85 percent saying they plan to spend more time socialising in their gardens and outdoor spaces then they ever have before.
37 percent said they have spent time and money on their garden because they can now invite people over, with 28 percent saying they plan to host BBQs and summer parties this year.
More than half (56 percent) of those with outdoor spaces said they feel incredibly lucky to have them and as such, want to make the most of the area, while a further 39 percent said their outdoor space had become their sanctuary over the last 12 months.
Overall, 46 percent of people said they get a sense of pride when their garden looks great and 41 percent plan to spend a lot of time in their garden as they do not currently have a holiday booked.
Gill Roberts, M&S Home Insurance, said: “As a nation, we’re known for our love of our gardens and people often invest significant time and money into them, but during the last year, these outdoor spaces have never been more important, acting as a sanctuary and safe space for many.
“Our research highlights that people are spending more time and money than ever before on their outdoor spaces, which means that the value of items, whether in the shed or in the garden itself, can quickly mount up. This reaffirms the importance of protecting these special places, by reviewing what measures are in place to secure the garden, as well as what is included within their policy to ensure they are covered, should the worst happen.”
Despite how much time and money Britons have invested into their gardens, 14 percent have never locked their garden shed, while 34 percent frequently leave valuables such as expensive garden equipment unlocked in the shed overnight.
More than a third (36 percent) said they had, or knew someone who has had, garden items damaged or stolen, while 18 percent have had outdoor furniture stolen and 21 percent have had items taken from their shed.
Furthermore, more than half (51 per cent) of garden owners didn’t know whether their garden is insured and only 16 per cent were confident that their plants, bushes, shrubs and trees were covered under their home insurance.
From 30 April, M&S Home Insurance is offering either a £40 National Garden Centre gift card, or an Amazon Echo Dot, to customers who take out a new, Premier or Standard, combined building and contents policy*.
*Must be purchased via the M&S Bank website or via telephone. Offer ends 26 August.