Has our love for gardening grown in the UK?*

*This is a collaborative post*

According to recent research, one thing that many of Brits share a love for is gardening. In fact, the Horticultural Trades Association reported that over two-thirds of British adults visit a garden centre every year. In 2016, the UK Houzz Landscaping Trends Survey also revealed that 59% of homeowners prioritised outdoor living as the biggest influence in their overall outdoor project design.
More people appear to be heading to the garden and taking up gardening as a hobby. We have teamed up with Suttons, advocates of growing your own produce, to take a closer look.
A growing interest in gardening

Research is suggesting that more people are enjoying spending time in the garden. Studies have revealed that the market value of home and garden products has grown by 4,548 euros since 2014. Similarly, Wickes has seen a 30% increase in year-on-year sales of garden lighting, which suggests that more people are spending time in the garden even when the sun goes down and perhaps in the colder months, too.
Some experts suggest that it is the growing amount of disposable income that the nation has that is leading them to their love for gardening. In 2016, research concluded that 27 million people in Britain were partaking in gardening. More young people are considering a career in the industry, too - a sharp increase has been noticed in the amount of 16-to-18-year-olds who are looking to complete horticulture courses at college.
This research opposes the concerns that some gardeners were having about the future of the hobby in the UK. It was reported that many people were paving over their front gardens with gravel for ease of maintenance or parking purposes. With the rise of urban living, it has also been reported that many people will be living without any access to a garden in the near future. However, trends have adapted and there has been a rise in the purchase of shrubbery as people try to make the most of their limited space.
Even if people don’t like spending time outdoors, many are bringing sowing seeds into the home through TV. One in four Brits claimed that they used gardening TV shows as inspiration for their own gardens. A garden transformation show called Love Your Garden, hosted by Alan Titchmarsh, saw its viewing figures hit four million this summer. Similarly, 3.14 million tuned in to watch the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May, which is coverage of a five-day garden show of innovative gardeners and their designs.



Taking a look at Google

It looks as though people are turning to Google for some gardening advice now, too. When looking at the search volume of ‘grow your own’, peaks were noticed around May. This is possibly down to the beginning of the bank holidays and the rise in temperatures. On average, 50,000 more searches were made around the term in 2017 than in 2014.
The search volume drops around December when it is suggested that most people are focused on Christmas. However, an increase in searches was still picked up (30,000 between 2014 and 2017). This could be down to the rise in ‘DIY’ kits that have seeds, tools and soil in that can be given as a gift and used to grow your own vegetables in the garden.
Many internet users are turning to the search engine to find their local garden centre. In April 2015, there were around 230,000 searches made around the term ‘garden centres near me’ and in 2017, this figure had risen to around 700,000.
Other terms that people have been searching for are ‘gardening ideas’, which saw its search volume increase by around 130,000 between 2015 and 2017, and the search volume of ‘gardening programmes’, which increased by around 350,000 in the same period.
It appears as though the enjoyment for gardening is set to continue. It is expected that we’ll find new ways to accommodate for the loss of green spaces. If you’re not already part of the hype, get in the garden or visit your local garden centre to see what it’s all about!

*Bumble bee photo by Mi-Mi.

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